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North man who threatened diners, finally sentenced after dragging out case


By Court Reporter

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The prosecution of a Balintore man who threatened diners at a local inn, was protracted because of his failure to turn up at court and at social work appointments, a court heard.

Sandon Urquhart (22), Lochslin Place, committed the offence at the Balintore Inn on December 9, 2018, but only appeared from custody for sentencing at Tain Sheriff Court today.

The case called at Tain Sheriff Court today.
The case called at Tain Sheriff Court today.

During the 15 month proceedings, Urquhart spent a total of 46 days in custody in relation to the case, his lawyer said, but conceded his client had only himself to blame.

The court heard Urquhart and his father become very intoxicated while drinking at the inn and, after knocking over a bar stool, were told they would no longer be served.

Roderick Urquhart, prosecuting, said: “The accused’s father starting swearing at the bar maid, calling her names and they were both asked to leave.”

Father and son then challenged male diners at the inn to a fight. The fiscal said Urquhart senior was the leader and his son joined in.

Defence agent Neil Wilson said Urquhart senior had previously admitted threatening behaviour and been sentenced to a community payback order.

He said the case against Urquhart junior had a “convoluted history” of adjournments, failures to attend and postponements.

But the lawyer said that Urquhart’s rate of offending had lessened in the last two to three years and this was his only case outstanding.

His claimed his client had a good work ethic and had been offered an apprenticeship.

Mr Wilson hoped that with a job and income, his client could turn his life around.

But the lawyer’s plea for a community disposal for Urquhart, who admitted behaving in a threatening manner likely to cause fear or alarm, fell on deaf ears.

Sheriff Gary Aitken said: “My optimism of him turning up regularly to carry out unpaid work is not high.”

He told Urquhart: “I have really no faith that you will comply with any community based disposal. The chances of you turning up for supervision or unpaid work are nil.”

“Your attendance throughout this case has been lamentable and the fact you spent 46 days in custody is nobody’s fault but your own. If you had bothered to turn up to court and for reports, you would not be inside.”

Sheriff Aitken imposed a £600 fine.

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