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Car park ‘misunderstanding’ led to assault

A FIFTY seven year old construction worker who admitted unlawfully possessing a lock knife and repeatedly punching another man on the head following a “misunderstanding” in Lerwick town centre has been fined £900.

Kenneth McLeod, of 3 Winton Avenue, Eaglesham, Glasgow, had been in Shetland working at Total’s new gas plant when the incident occurred on 13 December 2014.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said McLeod and a friend, who had gone out drinking in Lerwick after they finished a shift, had been walking across the Victoria Pier car park towards the accommodation barge they were staying on.

They drunkenly fell against a moving vehicle after which a “misunderstanding” ensued as McLeod’s friend “thought something more sinister had happened”.

When the man driving the vehicle wound down the window, a verbal altercation ensued before McLeod repeatedly punched him on the head to his injury.

Security officers from the accommodation barge saw what happened and went over to try and calm the situation down.

Mackenzie said McLeod was seen with the knife in his hand, though he was “not doing anything with it” and put it into a bag one of his friends was carrying.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said that, while he was only carrying the knife as he’d gone straight out to the pub after work, his client accepted he didn’t not have sufficient reason for carrying it in public.

He said McLeod had previously been the victim of a hit-and-run accident in which both of his knees were “smashed up” and left him unable to work for several months, which could explain his sensitive reaction.

McLeod has now left Shetland and obtained work building a new bypass road in Aberdeen.

Sheriff Philip Mann said the incident highlighted the “folly and stupidity of being careless with knives”. Even if he had no intention to use it, having a knife in his hand during such an altercation could have resulted in “very serious consequences”.

McLeod was fined £200 for the assault and £700 for possessing the knife, with the sheriff adding: “Let this be a warning shot across the bows – don’t find yourself in this situation again.”