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Thread: Cases from today's sheriff court session

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    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Cases from today's sheriff court session

    Woman ends up in ditch after horses dispute

    A LAND and horses dispute between two neighbours boiled over when one of them pushed the other into a ditch.
    It followed a confrontation between Sutherland Smith and Natalie Oag, it was stated at Wick Sheriff Court. It heard the land disagreement had become such a controversial issue between them, it was labelled “The Gaza Strip”.
    The story with the Wild West ring to it, was described by senior fiscal depute, David Barclay, after retired Smith, of Aelart, Howe, Lyth, admitted assaulting Natalie Oag.
    Senior fiscal depute, David Barclay said that it was the dispute over Ms Oag’s horses which led to a confrontation between the two neighbours on March 13. It ended with Smith pushing her into a ditch. Ms Oag sustained various bruises and swellings and had to be taken to hospital.
    Mr Barclay said that so far as the land dispute was concerned, it appeared that Smith (64) had previously sold an area of ground to Ms Oag but regretted it, describing it to police as “the worst mistake I have ever made”. He termed the land as “The Gaza Strip” (the trouble-torn area of ground of the eastern coast of the Mediterranean.
    Solicitor Neil Wilson said that the assault had been prompted by Smith finding Ms Oag’s horses on his land and in his garden. The accused had taken steps to drive them off, along an adjacent track, back onto their rightful ground. However, Mr Wilson claimed that Ms Oag had sought to escalate the disagreement by not allowing the horses to enter her field but instead, droving them back, towards Smith, “at some danger to him” and then started an argument.
    The solicitor added that Smith had spent a night in the cells which he suggested to Sheriff Andrew Berry might be a sufficient punishment in itself.
    Deferring sentence for six months, the sheriff told Smith, a first offender, that he wanted to ensure that there would not be a recurrence of the incident and that peace had reigned.

    Sex offence accused in denial says sheriff

    THE sheriff took a man to task over his attitude to an improper suggestion he made to a 14-year-old girl on a social networking site and told him he would have been “perfectly entitled” to jail him.
    Andrew Bremner (28) of Miller Lane, Thurso, admitted sending a sexual written communication to the girl to meet him, and suggesting a sexual act. The incident occurred between November 1 and 30th when he was chatting to her on Facebook.
    At first the conversation was friendly. They talked about various topics but then the difficulty arose when Bremner asked the girl to meet him and made mention of performing a certain act. He was aware of her age. The girl’s mother spotted the offending message and informed the police.
    Solicitor John McCritchie said that Bremner had been drinking heavily when he made the suggestion and added that the accused would never have done so had he been sober. The accused was not seeking to excuse his behaviour because of the alcohol and unreservedly accepted he had done wrong and was ashamed of it.
    Clearly the offence had raised concerns but Mr McRitchie quoted what he described was “an encouraging response from Bremner, in a background report, telling social workers- “You’re the experts”. Bremner was willing to participate in any programme suggested.
    Mr McRitchie continued that the offence was the sort of thing that a 14-year-old might have “laughed off” but for the considerable trauma it caused the girl in question.
    The solicitor said that the alcohol had brought out the behaviour in Bremner which might be latent in him but which could be addressed by treatment.
    Sheriff Berry described the offence has “wholly inappropriate” and “completely unacceptable” and made the point that Bremner could have been prosecuted at a higher and more serious level.
    The sheriff added: “What does not impress me is that you see your behaviour as a mistake. You are in denial. You didn’t take into consideration that the victim is half your age and blame drink for your behaviour.”
    Sheriff Berry ordered Bremner to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the community. The accused will have his name put on the sex offender’s register and require to take part in a sex offenders project. In addition, he will be banned from being in the company of any 16-year-old girl unless a responsible adult is present.

    Stolen car ended up a write-off

    THE court heard that a car stolen in Thurso ended up a write-off.
    Martin Budge (18) admitted theft of the insecure vehicle from Dunnet Road, Thurso and having no licence and insurance.
    Senior fiscal depute Mr Barclay said that there had been a second person involved in the incident who had also been driving the car but it was not clear who had been at the wheel when the crash occurred, south of Standstill Farm. Budge had earlier gained entry to the vehicle which had been left insecure and started it with a spare key he discovered.
    The car, worth 2,500, was a write-off and, as it had been unlocked, its owner would not be compensated through his insurance.
    Sheriff Berry, who deferred sentence until May 21 for reports, observed that the offences had occurred only four days after Budge, of Fife Terrace, Macduff, had been sentenced to carrying out a period of unpaid community service for similar offences.

    Drinks driver fined and banned

    A WATTEN woman who drove with excess alcohol was fined 500 and banned from driving for two years.
    Mary Cowie (60) admitted the offence which occurred on March 23 at Scrabster.
    Tests carried out after she was stopped by the police, revealed a breath-alcohol level of 82mgs. The legal limit is 35mgs.
    The sheriff said that Cowie of Aspen Bank, Banks Road, Watten, a first offender, will qualify for a six months reduction in her disqualification, if she successfully completes the drinks drivers’ rehabilitation course.
    Last edited by Nwicker60; 23-Apr-12 at 15:47.

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