Court / Prison for assaulting three women and stealing car

A MAN has been sent to prison for eight months for assaulting three women at a house at Lerwick’s Sandveien housing estate after a night out in town before stealing a car.

Ruairidh Kavanagh, of St Osyth Road, Clacton on Sea, had previously admitted grabbing one woman by the face, pushing her to the ground and repeatedly punching her on the head to her injury.

The 24-year-old also punched another woman on the head to her injury and assaulted a third by repeatedly pushing her to the ground – all in the same incident in the early hours of 13 October.

Kavanagh also stole a car from outside the Dragon House takeaway on Kantersted Road on the same day, after making off with a set of car keys from a separate address in Sandveien.

He also drove without a proper licence and without insurance.

Kavanagh appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday after previously being denied bail.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the complainers encountered Kavanagh on a night out and at about 4am they ended up back at one of their homes.

Another female, who was not one of the complainers, went with the man into a bedroom upstairs.

This led to one of the complainers becoming unhappy as Kavanagh had a girlfriend. She, along with one of the other complainers, went to “convey their displeasure” at the man.

One of the women pushed him in an attempt to get the man to leave, but he turned “violent”, Mackenzie said.

The fiscal described how he grabbed her head, causing her to fall to the floor, before punching her. The second woman tried to help, with Kavanagh repeatedly punching her.

A third complainer heard the commotion and went upstairs, but he pushed her.

Mackenzie said Kavanagh then ran downstairs and left the house. He went into a nearby home, which was unlocked, and took a set of keys for a pick-up before driving home.

The fiscal said two of the women received injuries, with one of them having “significant” bruising and swelling. She had an X-ray on her cheekbone, but it was not fractured.

The other woman had a laceration on her head, which needed to be glued shut, as well as bruising around her eye.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client had drunk alcohol that night after taking medication.

The solicitor said Kavanagh cannot remember committing the offences – but he took responsibility for his actions.

Allan added that his client had left Shetland following the incident “for his own safety” after receiving “threats” in the courtroom following his first appearance.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank described the offence as a “serious extended course of conduct” involving “gratuitous assault”.

He said that because it was a summary complaint, the maximum prison term could only be 12 months – and that was before a discount of a third for early pleas.

The sheriff gave Kavanagh a total prison sentence of eight months backdated to when he first entered custody in early November.

Kavanagh was also given six penalty points.