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Trio of assaults

A MAN sentenced to 300-hour community payback order for committing a “vicious” assault in Shetland last September has been told he is lucky not to have been jailed.

Forty six year old Gordon Keith, of the village’s Meadowfield Crescent, attacked his “defenceless” victim at an address in Scalloway last year.

On a previous appearance at Lerwick Sheriff Court he had been warned to prepare himself for a probable custodial sentence.

The court had heard that Keith’s victim had required an overnight stay in hospital, though thankfully he had not suffered any lasting injuries.

On Wednesday, defence agent Tommy Allan said the victim had accepted an apology from Keith., who was once a “very regular visitor” to the court buildings. Allan said that his client still had an alcohol problem but had dealt with other drug issues, and his recent criminal record was much improved.

He accepted it was a serious offence, but asked the sheriff to consider alternatives which would allow him to continue giving assistance and care to his mother.

Sheriff Philip Mann said that prior to coming onto the bench on Wednesday “my provisional intention was custody”, but he had decided to “give you an opportunity here”, ordering him to carry out 300 hours’ unpaid work instead.

MEANWHILE, a bricklayer and plasterer who headbutted another man in a Lerwick pub late last year has been fined a total of £450.

Steven Robertson, 38, of Gaet A Gott, Tingwall, admitted assaulting the man at the Thule Bar on the town’s Esplanade on 12 December. He also pleaded guilty to wilfully or recklessly damaging property by punching and cracking a window at the same location.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Robertson had been out drinking and struck up a “light-hearted” conversation with a group of people. After moving elsewhere in the pub he thought the group were laughing at him, and committed the assault.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client had no recollection of the incident due to the amount of alcohol he had consumed.

But he accepted the charges, viewed it as “a matter of shame” and wished to apologise to the victim.

Sheriff Mann said the behaviour was “totally unacceptable” and being heavily intoxicated was “an explanation, not an excuse”.

A TWENTY eight year old mechanic who repeatedly punched another man on the head on 30 November last year has been fined £300 and ordered to pay £200 compensation to his victim.

Jamie Garland, of Lerwick’s Bruce Crescent, burst his victim’s lip on a night out at the town’s Posers nightclub.

The fiscal said Garland had become involved in an argument with a woman, and was eventually escorted from the premises before committing the assault.

The court heard that Garland had since taken steps to address some of his problems, including engaging with the CADS drug and alcohol support service.

SENTENCE has been deferred on two twin brothers who struggled with police officers in February.

Lee and Drew Hamilton, both 19, of Lerwick’s St Olaf Street, got themselves into trouble after police attended their address following a complaint that Lee was causing an annoyance while playing an Xbox computer game console.

He failed to desist when asked by police officers, and both twins then behaved in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting, swearing, behaving aggressively and struggling with police.

The fiscal said the brothers’ problem was their drinking and they were unaware of the effect their behaviour had on others.

Neighbours’ reasonable requests for them to quieten down were “met with a tirade of abuse”, and if they carry on behaving this way “there is only one outcome”, Mackenzie warned.

Defence agent Liam McAllister said Drew had by his own admission “lost the head” and wished to apologise.

Sheriff Mann warned the pair “not to act the big man” regarding their conduct in court, adding: “Have a good think to yourselves and keep your noses clean or you will be in big trouble.”

Sentence was deferred until 8 July for the pair to be of good behaviour.