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Court / Fifteen months in jail for ‘nasty and unprovoked’ assault on woman

CARRYING out a “particularly nasty and unprovoked” assault on a woman in her own home has earned a thirty year old man 15 months behind bars.

John Hutcheson, whose address was given as Grampian Prison, appeared via video link from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday to admit the assault on 9 April this year. It was committed while he was on bail.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Hutcheson had been staying in a flat above the victim’s address in the north of Lerwick and had gone to her flat at 11pm to ask for a cigarette.

The woman had allowed him into her house but while smoking the cigarette he had “inexplicably become irate”, shouting at her and “calling her a grass”.

He repeatedly spat on her, threw a coffee table at her and put his hands on her shoulders to prevent her getting up from a sofa and repeatedly punched and kicked her on the heady and body, all to her injury.

In the process of fleeing for her own safety, the woman had thrown an implement at Hutcheson who sustained a black eye.

A neighbour had found her in an “extremely distressed” state and had then called the police.

The victim sustained two lacerations on her head, including one which required to be glued.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client, who had been in custody for around four and a half months, had a long-standing drug issue. At the time of the incident things were “frankly spiralling out of control” for Hutcheson.

He had managed to stay free of drugs whilst in custody and intends to move to Huntly to stay with his mum when he is released.

Allan said his client recognised that avoiding alcohol and drugs would be key to his future, and that he was “ready to walk a different path” and realizes he has “let his children down”.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said it was a “particularly nasty and unprovoked assault” that caused not only physical injury but also had an “understandable effect” on the victim’s confidence in social situations.

He sentenced him to 15 months in jail backdated to 12 April, when Hutcheson was remanded in custody.


A FORTY five year old man who drunkenly behaved in a threatening or abusive manner towards his partner has had sentence deferred to be of good behaviour for six months.

Richard Day, of Lerwick’s Bruce Crescent, admitted the charge at an address at the town’s Breiwick Road on 8 August this year.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Day had been drinking heavily throughout the day and had turned abusive at around 11pm after his partner asked him to turn down the TV volume.

He responded by shouting and swearing and she eventually decided to call the police, resulting in Day being taken into custody.

The court heard that Day’s partner, with whom he has a young child, did want their relationship to continue on the condition that he addresses his alcohol problem.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client had been receiving medical, mental health and substance misuse support to address his problems.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank deferred sentence until March 2022 for Day to be of good behaviour.


SHOUTING and swearing at a shop assistant has resulted in a 51 year old man being ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work.

Simon Scholes, of Pundsta Place, Cunningsburgh, admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner towards a female staff member at Alex Morrison’s shop on Lerwick’s Burgh Road on 24 February this year.

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