Terrier’s owner threatened violence

When Mark Rushby’s pure-bred Staffordshire terrier attacked another dog he threatened the owner to warn him off calling the police.

But the 17-year-old, of Lerwick’s Haldane Burgess Crescent, later went to the man’s house and shouted more abuse at his wife.

His appearance at the door was made more threatening because he was carrying a length of wood with two screws in the end.

Rushby later left the scene and the police were called. They soon found him and foiled his attempt to dispose of the weapon.

Rushby has already owned up to the offence. He admitted breaching the peace and threatening violence on 14th January and having the offensive weapon.

He also pleaded guilty to hanging around two addresses in Lerwick while on bail five days later, so that it could be inferred he intended to steal.

Sentence was deferred until today for background reports to be compiled.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court today procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Rushby had approached the man after his “status” dog, which was off its lead, went for the complainer’s pet.

“The accused appeared and effectively threatened the complainer with violence if the complainer reported what had happened to the police.

“The complainer made his way home and a short time later – he was in the kitchen – there was a knock at the door, which his wife answered. It was the accused who was accompanied by an associate.

“The accused was carrying a length of wood with two screws in the end of it and, again, he repeated the threats of violence.”

Mr MacKenzie added Rushby had the presence of mind to dispose of the wood, but police soon recovered it after they were called.

He added the dog owner approached by Rushby had, in the past, suffered a heart attack, and that a stressful situation like this could have run the risk of a triggering further complications.

“His wife was alarmed and frightened by this incident.”

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Rushby had already spent two nights in custody in relation to the offences.

He added Rushby had managed to hold on to an apprenticeship for a year. He said Rushby wanted to get a job at the oil terminal after completing a construction course.

“The report is not so bleak so far as Mr Rushby is concerned. He accepts full responsibility for what has happened.”

Sheriff William Taylor ordered Rushby to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work as part of a community payback order.

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