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Two convicted of town centre assaults

A TWENTY two year old man who spat in a woman’s face before assaulting her male friend has been fined and ordered to carry out unpaid work.

Darren McCran, of Norgaet, Lerwick, pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman by spitting on her face when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

He also admitted assaulting the man by punching him on the head, knocking him to the ground and briefly leaving him unconscious. Both offences took place on 3 August last year.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the incident had occurred in the early hours of a Saturday morning near the Posers nightclub in Lerwick.

McCran had taken umbrage to something the woman had shouted at him and responded by spitting in her face. When a man stood up for her, he was assaulted and suffered cuts and bruises, although he did not require medical attention.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client realised he should not have reacted in the way he did.

McCran subsequently met one of the complainers, apologised and they shook hands. Since then he has “settled down a bit” and is now in employment as a hotel porter.

Sheriff Philip Mann said McCran’s previous convictions for assault and breach of the peace suggested he had “anger management issues”.

He fined him £500 and ordered him to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work, to be completed within three months.

Meanwhile Richard McNally was found guilty of assaulting the manager of Da Noost bar on Commercial Street last summer after an hour-long trial.

The 59 year old, of Ladies Drive, Lerwick, who chose to represent himself in the trial, has had sentence deferred until 4 September for him to be of good behaviour.

The victim, 29 year old Dianne Goodlad, and another crown witness, Craig Leask, told Lerwick Sheriff Court how McNally had punched Goodlad on the side of the face.

Goodlad had been off duty and was smoking a cigarette outside Da Noost in the early hours of 7 July last year when McNally approached the pub entrance.

She testified that she told him he had been barred from the pub the previous weekend for “making death threats towards a member of staff because he was gay”.

An argument ensued where McNally was “screaming at me” and she put her hand up to push his face away as she “did not feel comfortable”. He responded, she said, by punching her.

McNally denied assaulting Goodlad. He said he had intended to pop into the pub to say hello to a friend who had been DJing that night, but Goodlad had told him he could not get in.

He said Goodlad had launched into a “long rant” about why he was barred, before adding “and tell your brother he’s barred as well”.

McNally had told her to “do your own dirty work”, at which point he claimed that she had punched him in the face – before he walked away.

He claimed both crown witnesses were lying out of “deviousness” and to hide her embarrassment.

But Sheriff Philip Mann said he had no reason to doubt the witnesses’ credibility or reliability and convicted McNally of assault.

He was fined £50 after admitting to failing to turn up for a previous court appearance.