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Court / Skeld man behaved abusively on service bus

A THIRTY-year-old man from Skeld has had his sentence deferred for good behaviour until 18 December after pleading guilty to behaving in a threatening and abusive manner towards a woman in a wheelchair on the bus between Bixter and Lerwick on 24 August last year.

Darren Gray, of Grindibreck, also admitted that his actions were aggravated by prejudice relating to disability.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the incident started at a bus shelter in Bixter when Gray was asked by the complainer to move so that she was not affected by the smoke from his cigarette.

While on the bus Gray was overheard speaking loudly on his phone complaining that he couldn’t smoke where he wanted. When disembarking in Lerwick, Gray became abusive towards the complainer and her 17-year-old daughter, as he had to wait for the wheelchair user to disembark the bus.

Defending, solicitor Tommy Allan said his client accepted that he had acted in a way that caused offence.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank deferred sentence for good behaviour and declined to issue a non-harassment order as requested by the Crown, after it emerged that the complainer had also initiated civil action again Gray.

This had resulted in Sheriff Cruickshank issuing an interdict on Monday preventing Gray from contacting or approaching the complainer for the next three years.