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Couper admits charges

| Written by Shetland News

A MAN who admitted number of charges including possessing a knife in a public place and assaulting a man by repeatedly attempting to stab him with a fork has been remanded in custody ahead of sentencing.

Trevor Couper, of Grampian Prison, appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court from custody on Monday to admit four offences which took place earlier this year.

The 24 year old pled guilty to having a kitchen knife in a public place at Hoofields in Lerwick on 12 July without reasonable excuse or lawful authority.

His plea, coupled with his not guilty plea for presenting a knife at a man on the same date being accepted, averted a jury trial at the last minute, meaning all potential jurors were sent home.

Couper also admitted assaulting a man at an address in Lerwick's Sandveien on 7 February and presenting a fork at him, seizing hold of him and struggling with him before punching the man and repeatedly attempting to stab him on the body with the fork.

He also pled guilty to shouting, swearing, throwing a glass and making threats at the Lounge Bar in Lerwick on 30 June and struggling violently with two police constables at the town's Market Cross on the same day.

Referring to the knife charge, procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said there had been a confrontation which had been the "continuation of bad feeling" between Couper and another person.

He said Couper had been outnumbered, which led him to fleeing his home and seeking help from a neighbour.

Mackenzie told the court that the 24 year old took the knife with him and that it was "fair to say" he had it for self-defence purposes.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said it appeared that at least three people attacked his client's home and were trying to kick the door in.

Mackenzie said the complainer in the Sandveien assault offence was his sister's partner who tried to get Couper to leave the property.

The fiscal said his sister wasn't too happy with a drunk Couper engaging with his niece, with an argument ensuing.

She called her partner to the house but Couper assaulted him with a fork from a takeaway meal after refusing to leave.

Referring to the incidents on 30 June, Mackenzie said a drunk Couper was "making a fool of himself in the pub" and was pushed to the ground by another patron who had asked him to behave himself.

The fiscal said Couper got back up and threw a glass at "no-one in particular" before later struggling with police.

Allan said his client, who had been remanded in custody since mid July, was struggling personally at the time of the offences but was now "clean and sober".

He encouraged Sheriff Philip Mann to be "creative" with his sentencing options and noted that members of Couper's family were in the courtroom to support him.

Sheriff Mann said "clearly these offences will end up with a custodial sentence being passed".

But he called for criminal justice social work reports to be prepared first and suggested they will help to determine the outcome if the custodial sentence was backdated.

All matters were adjourned to 6 December, with Couper remanded in the meantime.

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