Unpaid work for ‘awful’ threat

A TWENTY nine year old man who entered a Lerwick house uninvited and threatened a woman sleeping on a living room sofa with a brick has been ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Matthew Smith, of Stanegarth, Lerwick, admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and behaving aggressively in what was described as a “deeply unpleasant” incident on 13 July this year.


Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the woman had been to a hen party with some friends and had been socialising at a house in the town’s Bruce Crescent until around 5am.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard that she awoke two hours later to find Smith’s hand on her cheek, holding a rock against her face, and to telling her not to say anything while demanding her mobile phone.

When the complainer asked why he was there, Smith replied: “It doesn’t matter, I’ll put this brick in your face”. He added: “I don’t want to hurt you, but if I can’t find ‘him’ I will”.


Mackenzie said Smith was clearly under the influence of alcohol or drugs and was stumbling around.

The woman managed to trip him up and he fell onto a coffee table. Her friends heard the disturbance, came through the house and got rid of Smith before calling the police.

While she was not physically hurt, the woman was left “very shaken indeed” by the episode.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said he could offer “nothing in mitigation” for Smith’s “atrocious” behaviour.


He said Smith had been a regular offender in court, and his substance problems had at one point put his own life in danger. His client had managed to turn that around and was now holding down a job.

Having been on remand for ten days after the incident prior to being bailed on 24 July, Smith had kept out of trouble and had been seeking help from CADSS (Community Alcohol and Drugs Services Shetland).

Sheriff Donald Ferguson said Smith should arguably go to jail for the “awful offence”, but he had shown “a different side” to himself in the past few months.

In addition to the unpaid work he was given a 12-month community payback order and will be required to continue with alcohol abuse counselling.