Topless T-shirt not the fashion for the sheriff court says Wick sheriff

A HIGHLAND sheriff sent a young man to the cells yesterday after he appeared in the dock wearing a T-shirt sporting a topless woman motif.
Sheriff Andrew Berry was anything but amused by the large, grey 'smiley' face featuring the woman holding her hands over her breasts, under an open kagool, and condemned it as“wholly inappropriate for court”.
He told Brenden Stevens’ solicitor, Jo McDonald: “Presumably, he thinks it is a bit of fun."
Stevens, 21, of 29 Royal Terrace, Thurso, was escorted to the cells below Wick Sheriff Court, by a policeman and reappeared, later, wearing an inoffensive, plain grey, T-shirt .
Ms McDonald confirmed that the accused was now clad in “a more suitable” attire and said: “My client wishes to pass on his sincere apologies.”
She said that she had not been aware of the motif when conferring with the Stevens, earlier as his kagool was zipped up.
The solicitor assured the sheriff that the accused would dress accordingly for court in the future.
Sheriff Berry told Stevens: “ If you ever come into court dressed in such an inappropriate manner, you will undoubtedly find yourself in contempt. I am prepared to accept your apology, but you should understand, that I would have been entitled to send you to prison for a year.”
Stevens earlier denied charges of abusive or threatening behaviour in St Peter’s Road, Thurso, on January 11, and assaulting Mark Macleod, and will stand trial on May 1.

Drinks-driver may have put his gamekeepers job at risk

THE sheriff told a trainee gamekeeper yesterday that his drinks driving offence had put his future at risk.
The accused, Declan Wilson, admitted driving with excess alcohol.
He was stopped in Princes Street, Thurso, in the early hours of November 29. Tests revealed a breath-alcohol level of 83 mgs more than twice the legal limit of 35mgs. Wilson had made “a stupid decision” to give a friend a lift home.
Solicitor Jo McDonald said that Wilson, of 34 Tor View, Contin, split his job between college and an estate. Much of the estate work involved driving and the accused’s employers had said they would review the situation after the outcome of the case.
Appealing for a restricted driving ban, Ms McDonald continued: “A significant period of disqualification would have an impact on his employment.”
Sheriff Berry said that the accused’s actions had put a great deal of risk not only for Wilson, personally, but the investment the college and his employers had made in him.
The sheriff added: “I hope that won’t be lost”
Wilson was fined 500 and banned for a year. He was advised he could reduce the disqualification if he successfully completes the drinks drivers' rehabilitation course.

Two deny knife incident

TWO Wick men are facing a charge of having been involved in an incident in Wick using a knife and another weapon.
Ross Mackinnon, 39, and thirty-eight-year old Jason Crompton made no plea or declaration during brief appearance on petition in private before Sheriff Berry.
The incident is alleged to have occurred in Wick, on Thursday.
Both men were released on bail pending further inquiry.