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Knife man causes terror in north port

By Court Reporter

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Hope Charity, High Street, Invergordon
Hope Charity, High Street, Invergordon

A knife-wielding man caused terror and alarm in the centre of a Highland port last Friday, a court heard.

An intoxicated Robert Dougherty, Chapel Place, Portmahomack, whipped a knife out of one of his socks after being asked to leave the town’s flower and gift shop.

He then walked down the High Street twirling the knife which had a 6” curved blade and black handle.

A woman who spotted him was “terrified” he might harm her or others.

The drama began at around 4.30pm, ended when he entered Hope Charity Shop and a brave shop assistant disarmed him.

Police called to the scene found Dougherty with blood on both his hands from a cut on his hand. The knife was also found to have blood on it.

The 41-year-old appeared from custody at Tain Sheriff Court on Monday to admit possessing a knife in a public place and conducting himself in a disorderly manner.

Roderick Urquhart prosecuting, said Dougherty told Flower and Gift shop proprietor Sandra Kelly that he was looking for a gold chain

“He was told there was none and he then started moving about the shop. At that point he was told to leave,” said Mr Urquhart.

“He bent down and produced from one of his socks a 6” long and 2” wide curved blade with a black handle, like a kitchen knife. He did not make any threats or demands. He just held it in his right hand and then left walking along the High Street.

“A woman saw the accused, who was clearly intoxicated, drop an object which she realised was a knife. He picked it up and started twirling in on some sort of lanyard attached to the handle. The woman was terrified he might harm her or someone else”.

In the charity shop, Dougherty asked where the men’s clothing was. He still had the knife in his hand.

Mr Urquhart continued: “The lady in the shop took it off him. She asked why he had it and he did not reply. She told him he was not getting it back and he left the shop.”

After being arrested, Dougherty told officers: “I have never stabbed anyone.”

Neil Wilson, defending, said his client had a record but had not committed an offence in the last eight years.

The lawyer said: “There is no suggestion that Mr Dougherty was threatening or menacing anyone or demanding money.”

Sheriff Chris Dickson deferred sentence until May 13 for background reports and remanded Dougherty in custody.

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