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Struggled violently with police officers

| Written by Shetland News

TWO men who obstructed police officers and struggled violently with them after they followed up noise complaints have been punished with community payback orders and fines.

William McCover, of Veester Hill, Sandwick, and Geordan Sales, of Lerwick's Burnside, admitted at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday to obstructing two officers at an address in the town's Sandveien estate on 11 December.

Twenty five year old McCover also admitted making threats of violence in a police vehicle on the same day while en route to Lerwick Police Station.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said both men were at a party in a house occupied by Sales' girlfriend, but police were called twice about noise complaints.

After the first warning, officers returned at 5.30am to find 22 year old Sales on the doorstep flanked by another man.

Sales said he lived there and while discussions continued, McCover and two other men appeared.

He became "hostile" as the police became outnumbered, leaving them in an "extremely vulnerable position".

The officers explained their powers before having to exercise them as they tried to enter the house. The door was slammed and a violent struggle ensued.

One officer had to threaten to use CS spray on McCover before the situation calmed down, Mackenzie said, although the 25 year old continued to make threats in a police vehicle.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client McCover was "deeply sorry" and had perhaps been influenced by bad company.

Gregor Kelly, defending Sales, meanwhile acknowledged that his client was veering close to custody due to his past record.

On the night in question, the 25 year old "thought he knew his rights", Kelly told the court.

Sheriff Philip Mann told McCover that his behaviour was "completely out of order", but he added that his modest criminal record meant that custody was not the only option.

He gave him a total of 100 hours of unpaid work to complete and a fine of £400.

Sheriff Mann said he would stop short of sending Sales to prison as he felt a custodial sentence would only offer just a punishment.

He placed him on a curfew for eight months prohibiting him from leaving his house between 7pm and 7am, seven days a week.

He was also given 120 hours of unpaid work for a separate charge of assault which took place on 4 February, also at an address in Lerwick's Sandveien.

At the court on Thursday, Sales admitted seizing hold of the man and repeatedly punching him on the head and body, all to his injury.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Sales went to another man's house looking for compensation for a broken window, but ended up punching him.

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