A SHERIFF has expressed concern that a nightclub patron for banned for assault was allowed back into the premises where he committed a similar offence.
Sheriff Andrew Berry commented: " I find it incredible".
He was speaking while sentencing Stephen O' Kane, 25, who admitted punching patron Ian Urquhart at Skinandi's nightspot in Thurso, on July 23, last year and a record.
It occurred ten days after he was banned from the premises by the sheriff for the earlier incident and ordered to carry out unpaid work in the community.
The blow floored Mr Urquhart who was knocked unconscious for a short time the court at Wick was told.
Solicitor Fiona MacDonald said yesterday, that O' Kane was due to resume work in the near future after a period of unemployment and appealed for a non-custodial sentence.
However, O' Kane, of 30 Princes Street, Thurso was jailed for 120 days and banned from the nightclub for a year.
Sheriff Berry described as "incredible" that the accused had been in the nightclub in the full knowledge he had an assault case pending, adding it would be a matter of deep concern for the management and the licensing authority.
The sheriff continued: " In terms of the public interest, it is nothing other than breath-taking. Given the previous incident, anything could have happened."
Imposing a fresh exclusion order banning O' Kane from the nightclub the sheriff commented - "for what it is worth".