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Court / Prison term and non-harassment order imposed after man admits domestic abuse charge

Lerwick Sheriff Court
Lerwick Sheriff Court.

A MAN who engaged in a course of abusive conduct against his partner over a five month period has been sent to prison.

Andrew Cross, of Lerwick’s Haldane Burgess Crescent, was given a 200-day sentence when he appeared at the town’s sheriff court on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old admitted to engaging in abusive behaviour between 1 January and 8 May last year.

This included repeatedly acting in an aggressive manner and threatening to kill himself if she did not stay with him.

Cross also admitted repeatedly brandishing a knife, attending her home uninvited and causing her injury, including by seizing her by the neck.

He also pleaded guilty to lunging at another man on 11 April and holding a knife to his throat.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told court that the complainer had tried to end the relationship in late 2019 after getting together him a few months earlier.

He told court that at one point Cross threatened to pour boiling water over the woman, and kill her dog.

When the matter was raised to police, Mackenzie said that Cross was showing a “significant amount of victim blaming”.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client’s drug use at the time was “out of control” that and could remember little of the incidents, while there were other matters in his life affecting his behaviour.

But the solicitor acknowledged the seriousness of the offence.

Allan added that Cross had been receiving support from his family and had found employment since the offence happened.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank noted that the offence was a period of coercive behaviour against Cross’ partner.

“From the criminal justice social work report, it’s clear that you still have a fairly limited understanding or an acceptance of the effect of your behaviour,” he said.

The sheriff said he felt there was no alternative to custody and gave Cross a 200-day prison sentence.

He also imposed a non-harassment order relating to the complainer for three years.