View Full Version : Smiling, then...

11-Dec-16, 11:22
Wick accused was cell-shocked

A WICK man was sent to the cells by the local sheriff to re-think his attitude.
It happened after Sheriff Andrew Berry took exception to James Dunnett's demeanour in the dock, smirking and smiling while being addressed.
Earlier, Dunnett was ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work in the community and was warned him of the inevitable consequences if he did not co-operate fully.
The accused had denied threatening or abusive behaviour at the home of his ex-girlfriend at her house in Wick, during an on-off relationship, on June 27 but was found guilty after a trial.
Appearing for sentence on Friday, Sheriff Berry took Dunnett to task for his poor performance with a 75 hours unpaid work order imposed previously for an unrelated offence.
Sheriff Berry who saw a background report told Dunnett: "I get the impression that you take a sourly attitude to appearing in court and believe that you are the victim. You feel sorry for yourself and believe that life for you has been pretty hard. None of that is correct. In recent months you have not turned up in court and your attendance for unpaid work totalled one and a half days on a 75 days order.".
The sheriff discharged the present order and replaced it with a fresh one of 150 hours. during which Dunnett will be under supervision. He will also have to undertake the Domestic Violence Treatment Programme.
Sheriff Berry said he would review Dunnett's progress on December 22 and warned: "I expect to hear that you have got off to a sparkling start. But if I don't hear that you have co-operated fully, you will inevitably find yourself in prison.".
It was at that point that the sheriff ordered the duty police officer to take Dunnett to the cells asking the accused: "What part of these proceedings do you think is funny?"
Dunnett of 3 Grey Coast Buildings, Saltoun Street, Wick replied: "None"
Referring to the head-shaking, and smirking by Dunnett, the sheriff went on: "When someone behaves like that in my court I take a deep breath and I suggest you do the same. My immediate reaction was that you have no intention of co-operating and that I should send you to prison for 12 months.
Dunnett: "It was a mistake".
Sheriff Berry: "Go to the cells and I will think about what I am going to do with you later."
When he reappeared, solicitor Fiona MacDonald said that the accused was "deeply apologetic" for his disrespect to the court. and added: "I think the message has got through to him".