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Court / Fined for homophobic insults against police officer

LK Sheriff Court

A TWENTY four year old woman has been fined £320 after admitting shouting and swearing at police officers in a homophobic and racially aggravated manner.

Patricia Doyle, of Lerwick’s Nordavatan, admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner in an incident at the town’s Hoofields on 2 July last year.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Thursday that police had been called to her address by neighbours who had heard a disturbance.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Doyle had been “highly agitated” when police arrived.

Both she and her partner were intoxicated and officers took the latter into their vehicle to try and establish what had been going on.

Doyle made an erroneous assumption that he was being arrested and was abusive towards police, ignoring repeated opportunities to stop shouting and swearing.

The fiscal said her outburst included the use of homophobic insults, while one policeman in attendance was Romanian and she was “mimicking that officer’s accent”.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Doyle was a part-time emotional wellbeing and resilience officer and feared losing that role as a result of her court appearance.

At the time of the offence, she had lost her father and a close friend, was struggling with her mental health and “unwisely” using alcohol as a coping mechanism, the solicitor said.

She was “very drunk and upset” on the day in question and was “mortified” and “appalled by her behaviour”, Allan said, adding she was not someone who would normally use homophobic or racist language.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank fined Doyle £300 and imposed a £20 victim surcharge.


Space2face Shetland

Space2face Shetland is an independent and confidential service which uses Restorative Justice and the arts to bring those harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm into communication. We enable everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.

If you would like to reach out to us, please contact us via e-mail info@space2face.org or mobile 07564 832467.

If you would like to know more, visit our website www.space2face.org, or our Facebook page #space2faceshetland.

The project is also currently fundraising to secure office space in Shetland’s brand-new creativity and wellness centre, The Mission. If you’re interesting in getting involved, or making a donation, head over to www.space2face.org/how-you-can-help