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Drunken “thugs” face drinking ban

SHETLAND’S sheriff has banned two men from drinking in the islands pubs at weekends in a bid to clamp down on drunken violence in the town.

Sheriff Philip Mann said he was fed up with young thugs who cause trouble in Lerwick and he was going to have take a stand on the issue.

Ross Pearson, aged 22, of 16 Sletts Road, Lerwick and 26 year old James Wilkinson, of 3 Sandblister Place, Virkie, both pled guilty to confronting each other aggressively and attempting to fight in the town’s Quendale Lane on 24 February.

Pearson also admitted breaching a night time curfew imposed when he was released from custody at 6.30am the following morning.

The court heard the fighting started outside Posers nightclub where the pair had a verbal altercation an hour earlier.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said: “This was a classic case of two drunks trying to have a square go at each other, which seems to be fairly routine conduct at the weekend in Lerwick.”

Tommy Allan, representing Pearson, pointed out that while his client came out of the incident with an injury to his head, his opponent had injuries to his knuckles.

He insisted that rather than being defiant, Pearson had breached his curfew the might after his release from the cells because he had not read the conditions of the undertaking prior to going to see a friend to watch Top Gear.

Sheriff Mann deferred sentence for social work reports until 18 April, but said he was thinking of ways he could discourage drunken violence, including banning people from pubs at the weekend.

As part of the bail conditions for Pearson, he banned him from licensed premises on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

However when he heard that Wilkinson worked as a chef in a south mainland hotel which had a license, he made it a condition that he did not drink alcohol in licensed premises at the weekend.

“I am getting fed up with dealing with young thugs who go out at the weekend and get drunk and can’t control themselves and cause trouble for the good people of Lerwick,” the sheriff said.

“It’s something I am going to have to stand on for the benefit of the people, that’s my duty.”

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