Ten months in jail for man who threatened trio with knife

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Threatening three men with a knife on a drunken night out landed a man with a 10-month prison sentence today.

Adam Nelson, 23, of Lerwick, admitted carrying out the 29th December assault when he appeared in the dock before Sheriff Philip Mann.

He committed the offence less than a week after being released on bail.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard Nelson had been ejected from a Commercial Road flat, where two of his victims had been.

He felt threatened and armed himself with a knife for protection before he left.

But instead of just walking away he “danced around” outside and threatened the men with violence, presenting the knife at them. Images of his antics were caught on the town’s CCTV system.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said it was only when another man, who was not connected with the incident, appeared on the scene that Nelson was finally put in his place.

Nelson threatened him with the knife, too. The man responded by punching Nelson, knocking him out.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said an argument had developed between Nelson and one of the people in the flat over an ex-girlfriend.

The dispute “spiralled out of control” and Nelson left feeling threatened.

He had taken the knife to defend himself against what he was told would happen to him.

Mr Allan said the CCTV images suggested Nelson had not been too close to the men when making his gestures at them.

He was knocked unconscious by a single blow, and required stitches.

The court was told Nelson had made good progress in dealing with his drug problems.

He had started to drink after a death in the family, but had not relapsed into heroin misuse.

Nelson is also expecting to be a father in August.

Mr Allan told Sheriff Mann: “He has been in custody since 29th December and is under no illusion you are most likely to give him a custodial sentence in relation to this.

“It’s unfortunate for him that in the course of drinking too much he has placed all this in jeopardy. This is not the sort of thing he is normally involved in.”

Sentencing, Sheriff Mann said: “It’s a great shame that because of your over-indulgence in drink you’ve put yourself in this position.

“You seemed to be making good progress in life and people seemed to have been pleased with your progress.

“I have no doubt you are extremely disappointed that you have allowed yourself to get into this position, just because of your over-indulgence with drink.

“Anyone who has a knife in a public place has to expect a custodial sentence, except in the most exceptional circumstances.”

Nelson’s sentence was back-dated to 30th December when he was first taken into custody. Two of the 10 months are to reflect the breach of bail.

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