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Cooper bailed for Christmas

A MAN who assaulted his partner and embarked on a “very violent struggle” with police officers has been released on bail ahead of Christmas after his sentence was deferred for a second time.

Simon Cooper, of Queen’s Drive, Bath, appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday after previously admitting assaulting the woman at an address in Lerwick on 7 November.

The 31 year old seized hold of her by the arm, grabbed her by the face and struck her head off an internal wall to her injury.

Cooper also previously admitted restricting, obstructing or hindering two police constables at the same address on the same day and struggling violently with them.

In addition, Cooper previously admitted to attending the woman’s address, elsewhere in Lerwick, on 17 November without reasonable excuse and in breach of bail conditions.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie previously told the court that police were called after Cooper attended the woman’s house, with a struggle with officers ensuing.

Speaking at the court on Wednesday, defence agent Tommy Allan said his client now took “full responsibility for the way that he acted”.

He said Cooper recognised that he was in a “complex relationship” with the woman, adding that he has a personality disorder and suffers from stress.

The solicitor said that during the fracas with police – which saw Cooper headbutt the wall of the woman’s house and the inside of a police van – his client was actually trying to harm himself, although that didn’t make it “any better”.

Allan – who added that the bail breach offence came after Cooper’s partner encouraged him to visit her – argued that alternatives to a custodial sentence were available to Sheriff Philip Mann.

He said Cooper had become “clean and sober” after spending one month in custody, with the solicitor suggesting that a community payback order could work for the 31 year old.

“I feel this is quite a difficult case to deal with,” admitted Sheriff Mann.

He said Cooper’s “complex” relationship and his attitude towards the police were “two very worrying things”.

But the sheriff acknowledged that Cooper “desperately” wanted to see his children and suggested it could be more beneficial to “keep tabs” on him in the community.

Sheriff Mann decided to take the case “step by step” and deferred all matters to 30 January in addition to requesting an updated social work report, with Cooper released on bail.

That includes a special condition not to approach or contact the complainer unless through a third party on matters relating to their children, while Cooper was also told to engage with the community psychiatric nurse.

Sheriff Mann warned Cooper that if he is not of good behaviour in the interim then he would be “opening the door” to a significant stint in prison that could last at least two years.