Head stamping assault would have continued - but for guest intervention sheriff court hears

A TEENAGER, who stamped once on the head of a friend after punching him repeatedly, told a social worker that he only stopped, because someone intervened.

The accused, Eddie Macgregor, of 12 Heatherbell Cottages, John O'Groats, was also said to have been assessed as being of “a very high risk of causing someone serious harm.”
The 18-year old appeared from custody and admitted assaulting Liam Robertson at a house in Wick. The accused had originally been charged on petition.
Wick Sheriff Court was told, yesterday, that the pair were friends at the time of the assault on January 6. They had earlier separated earlier, in the town, but met up at a house in Macrae Street, Wick, later.
David Barclay prosecuting, said that, at one point the two had gone to the kitchen “to discuss something”. However, Macgregor became angry and lashed out, punching Mr Robertson on the head and when he landed on the floor, the accused stamped on his head once, before other guests intervened.
The senior fiscal depute added: “While no-one witnessed the incident, they speak to seeing a lot of blood on Mr Robertson , afterwards.” An ambulance was summoned and the injured youth was taken to hospital where he was treated for 12 small puncture wounds on his right temple , bruising below the left eye, cuts and some general swelling.
Solicitor Neil Wilson said that there was a suggestion in a background report, that a forensic psychological report might be appropriate but he submitted that it was unlikely to persuade the sheriff to consider anything other than a custodial sentence.
Mr Wilson said that the accused didn’t appear to have displayed any contrition.
He went on:“Actions speak louder than words, however, and he has accepted responsibility for the assault and pleaded guilty at the earliest possible stage. The incident was not premeditated, having simply happened during a drinking session between friends.”
Sheriff Andrew Berry noted Macgregor’s reply to the social worker, in the report...that he had stated he would not have stopped at one stamp on his victim’s head, if someone hadn't intervened.
Sheriff Berry described another sentence in the report as ‘depressing’. It quoted Macgregor as saying- “I just want to get steaming because I like it”.
Reviewing the accused’s record, the sheriff referred to Macgregor’s aggression, anti -social behaviour, a lack of control, and drink problems.
Sheriff Berry called for the forensic psychological report, which will be before the court on February 22, and commented: “It may not in any way change the disposal, but I think in the accused’s interest, I have a duty to do so.”
The sheriff made the point that, unlike a custodial sentence, extending Macgregor’s current community payback order would allow him to keep the accused under supervision.

Denies dangerous driving

A MOTOR cyclist has been accused of having driven at an average speed of 103mph, in darkness on a stretch of a main road in Caithness with 20 junctions leading from it.
David Sutherland, 48, denied a charge of dangerous driving.
The average speed was alleged to have been calculated by police over a three-mile stretch of the A9 at Hilliclay.
Sutherland, of Holborn Place, Scrabster, will stand trial on May 15.

Fined and banned

A CAITHNESS support worker, who dove with excess alcohol, was fined 340 and banned for a year.
Kelly Swanson, 21, was stopped by police on the Watten-Thurso road in the early hours of November 30.
She was breathalysed positive after officers got the smell of alcohol and further tests revealed a breath-alcohol level of 55 microgrammes.The limit is 35mgs.
The court was told that Swanson, of 5 Sinclair Street, Thurso, who had been on her way home after a dinner, would not lose her job, although loss of her licence would create some difficulties.
Solicitor Jo Mcdonald said: “She misjudged the amount she had drunk”.