Persistent offender escapes jail
A SYMPATHETIC sheriff has given a woman, said to have been "in and out" of his court in recent week, a chance to get her life back on track.
The accused Emma Macdonald, 29, a mother of one, pleaded guilty when she appeared from custody at Wick Sheriff Court, yesterday, on her latest offence -a charge of assault. She was said to have got "fairly drunk" and punched a woman at a wedding celebration, at the Silver Darlings bar, in the town, on February 16 - but had no recollection of the incident.
Sheriff Andrew Berry said that the last thing he would want to do, would be to send the mother of a young child to prison, but warned that such a sentence would be inevitable, in the public interest if the accused didn't change her ways.
He told Macdonald, of 47 Kinnaird Street, Wick: "Let us draw a line under your behaviour and ensure there is no further offending."
The sheriff ordered Macdonald to carry out 100 hours unpaid community service, during which she will be subject to a supervision order, adding:"If you feel overwhelmed at any point, there are people who can help you. Don't let us see you back here again on a charge." The accused's progress will be review in a month's time.
Earlier, the accused's solicitor, George Mathers, appealing for a non-custodial sentence, said that Macdonald had been taking medication to deter her from drinking but she refrained from taking it on nights out.
Mr Mathers told the court: "When she gets drunk, she is a bad drunk and gets into trouble".

Joiner smashed furniture

A WICK joiner who damaged furniture at his girlfriend's home was given a chance to demonstrate he can behave himself.
First offender Martin Mackay, 27, admitted the vandalism at the house in Henrietta Street, Wick, on August 18 last year.
The incident was said to have been triggered by a heated argument between the two after they had returned from an open-air rock festival at the town's Riverside.
Mackay, of 53 Glamis Road, Wick, was said to have paid for the damage. The good behaviour bond was fixed at six months.

Punch cost man dear

AN aspiring Wick businessman was fined 225 at Wick Sheriff Court, after he admitted a charge of assault.
The incident occurred while Rehan Amin, 25, was walking between pubs and had reason to stop in the town’s Adams Lane. He got into a fight with William Banks, who was said to have resented his arrival, and punched him.
Solicitor George Mathers claimed that this client had been provoked and that the police had arrived in time to witness the final punch being thrown by Amin, of 29 Gunn’s Terrace, Wick.
Sheriff Berry observed that Amin a shop assistant, said to be training for management of a second outlet due to be opened by his father in Wick’s town centre, later this month, was accumulating convictions and warned that he would end up in prison if the offending didn’t cease.