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Constables forced to put spit hood on veteran who waded into river after assaults

By Court Reporter

AN inebriated veteran who had be fished out of the Kyle of Sutherland after assaulting two people, then went on to attack two police officers, a court heard.

Jamie Hingston (54), Whitefoord House, Canongate, Edinburgh, spat at two constables called out to the incident at Bonar Bridge.

The case was heard at Tain Sheriff Court
The case was heard at Tain Sheriff Court

Prosecutor Roderick Urquhart said: “He spat at both constables with the result that they applied a spit hood before taking him to Burnett Road Police Station, Inverness."

Hingston appeared at Tain Sheriff Court on Monday having previously admitted four counts of assault on May 5.

The court was told Hingston was temporarily staying in Bonar Bridge at the time and had become friendly with Tony Kirkton to whom he had loaned a card reader.

Events kicked off shortly before 4pm on the day in question after an intoxicated Hingston went round to retrieve his property.

“There was some kind of dispute and things deteriorated,” said the fiscal. “ The accused punched MrKirkton and seems to have connected with his chin.”

Hingston then had an “exchange of words” with Nicola Sutherland before shoving her in the chest and punching her, causing her to fall to the ground.

The fiscal continued: “Police were called but it seems that by the time they arrived, Mr Hingston had gone into the Kyle of Sutherland. Itis unclear whether he was pulled out by officers or others.

“He was taken into custody, handcuffed and brought into the Bridge Hotel and seated in front of a coal fire to warm up. Police tried to speak to him but he did not engage and began spitting.”

Defence agent Duncan Henderson said Hingston believed Ms Sutherland had been assauted by Mr Kirkton and that was the reason for the disagreement between them.

The lawyer asked that his client be given a community disposal.

But Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood pointed out that Hingston had told social workers he was unable to undertake unpaid work because of health difficulties. The only alternative therefore was a custodial sentence.

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood was on the bench. Picture: Andrew Smith
Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood was on the bench. Picture: Andrew Smith

After some discussion the sheriff deferred sentence until March 30 for a supplementary social work report and a restriction of liberty order assessment.

He warned Hingston: “You face a pretty stark choice. You can do unpaid work or you can go to jail.”

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