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Jail for assaulting heavily pregnant woman

A WOMAN from Lerwick who racked up a catalogue of alcohol-fuelled offences including the assault of a woman who was more than eight months pregnant has been sent to jail for nearly three years.

Sarah Irvine, of 28 Hoofields, appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday to be sentenced having previously admitted a number of charges.

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The 30 year old pled guilty to a host of offences that took place in Lerwick on 17 May while she was on bail, with Irvine entering an unoccupied house in the Sandveien estate while uninvited, threatening to jump from its first floor, throwing a bottle downstairs and refusing to leave.

She also repeatedly banged on a door and struck her head with a bottle, made false allegations and jammed her foot in a door to prevent it from being closed.

Irvine admitted blocking the doorway of another address in Sandveien, refusing to move, entering uninvited, shouting, swearing and making false allegations.

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She also admitted assaulting a woman at the same address, handling by her abdomen and pulling her by her clothing, before assaulting a police sergeant in Sandveien and attempting to bite his hand.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday that the woman who was assaulted was eight and a half months pregnant at the time and that Irvine had no connection to the people who lived in the houses.

The 30 year old also previously admitted shouting, swearing and acting in an aggressive manner, smashing a bottle, standing in the middle of the road, obstructing traffic and gesticulating in a threatening manner, all in Lerwick’s Sandveien on 18 April.

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She also pled guilty to damaging the interior of a police car on the same day.

Defence agent Tommy Allan told court on Wednesday that his client wrote a letter to Sheriff Philip Mann after being remanded in custody on 18 May to detail her “shame”.

Irvine now feels ready to fully engage with substance misuse services and is expected to leave Shetland to live with her mother in Aberdeen in future, Allan said.

“Jail is not the answer for her, but sadly it may be the answer for everyone else,” he said, suggesting that rehabilitation would be best served outside of prison.

However, Sheriff Mann said he couldn’t see any other option than to place Irvine behind bars.

The sheriff understood that the 30-year-old suffered from a drink problem, but he had a “duty to look at the public interest” as well.

With Irvine denying the chance to swap some of her jail sentence for two years of supervision upon release, Sheriff Mann gave Irvine 30 months in prison.

He added on another two months for a contempt of court offence that occurred in the Lerwick building on 11 May, with Irvine engaging in “truly out of order” behaviour in the dock after drinking.

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