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Court / Sentenced deferred on man who made racist comments to pharmacy worker

A MAN who admitted making racist comments to an employee of a Lerwick pharmacy – before apologising in the form of a letter – has had his sentence deferred to be of good behaviour.

Alexander Forbes, of the town’s Hoofields, pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner at Boots on Commercial Street on various occasions in January this year.

Appearing at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday, the 40-year-old admitted behaving in an aggressive and intimidating manner towards the retail worker and uttering offensive and racist comments.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the offence covered three separate incidents.

He said Forbes had changed his pharmacy to another chemist but tried to collect his prescription at Boots, despite knowing it would not be dispensed.

In the first instance Forbes behaved angrily and raised his voice, and told an employee he was “not from here” and told him to “speak proper English”.

The court heard the man was alarmed and “deeply offended” by the comments.

The second occasion, around two weeks later, the same employee was subjected to similar remarks – with Forbes then banned from the shop.

Ten days later Forbes returned and stared at staff in an intimidating manner after being made to leave, the court heard.

However, Mackenzie said Forbes returned outside the shop the next day and asked a member of the public to pass on a letter of apology to staff.

He said Forbes apologised for his “racist actions” towards the staff member. He was then spoken to by police.

Defence agent Tommy Allan noted how his client was someone who was under a guardianship, and was aware he is not welcome at the pharmacy.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said: “Clearly to act in this manner in any shop premises is unacceptable.” Given Forbes’ personal circumstances, and that he seemed to have “seen to an extent the error of his ways” the sheriff deferred sentence until late August for the accused to be of good behaviour.

He added that he hoped Forbes would understand moving forward that this type of behaviour was not acceptable.


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 interested in getting involved, or making a donation, head over to www.space2face.org/how-you-can-help



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