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Non-harassment order and £800 fine for causing fear

A MAN from the north east of England who caused his former partner fear or alarm over two consecutive days in Lerwick earlier this year has been fined £800 and given a non-harassment order.

Derek Duggan, of Leighton Road, Middlesbrough, appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday to admit the offence, which took place at an address in the town on 19 and 20 April.

The 46 year old admitted repeatedly driving past the woman’s home address and, on one occasion, bringing his vehicle to a halt before shouting and swearing at her.

Duggan also on a separate occasion parked his vehicle opposite her home address and remained within the vehicle and repeatedly called her and sent her text messages.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the pair’s relationship had just ended before the incidents took place.

He said while the text messages he sent were not abusive, they were “debilitating in number”.

Duggan was detained by police and released on an undertaking with a warning to avoid the woman’s address. However, just hours later he was seen by neighbours outside her property.

“The woman is terrified of him,” the fiscal said, who added that she receives support from the local branch of Women’s Aid.

Mackenzie requested that Duggan, who intends to move back to Middlesborough, be placed under a non-harassment order.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client had returned to Shetland in between two family funerals in Middlesborough to find that his relationship had ended and that he had been removed from the house he was staying in.

The solicitor said Duggan had spent around £7,500 on furniture for the house and “didn’t react well” to the news.

The man, who had been in Shetland for five years working as a scaffolder, said via Allan that he “wanted to apologise to her and didn’t wish her any harm”.

Sheriff Philip Mann said this type of offence was “topical” and added that it is “clear that society expects that courts will deal with these matters harshly”.

He said if it wasn’t for Duggan’s intention to live in Middlesborough then a custodial sentence would have been likely to keep him away from the woman.

However, the sheriff decided to place him under a non-harassment order for two years and fine him £800 in the view that he wouldn’t be returning to Shetland.