22nd September 2018
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Sex offender denied bail

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A man has been remanded in custody after he admitted sexually assaulting two girls and later causing a commotion in the Lerwick court building.

Owen Haughian, 32, of the town’s Hoofields admitted two separate sex offences – one on 1st August and another on 24th January – when he appeared in the dock today.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Haughian committed the sex crimes after befriending the girls over social media.

The case against Haughian was initially set down for trial yesterday . But he turned up late and behaved obnoxiously outside the court room.

He had drunk a bottle of vodka before attending, and was refused access to the courtroom because of his drunken behaviour.

The upshot was that Haughian was arrested. In court this morning a rather contrite-looking Haughian also admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, shouting, swearing and being disorderly while child witnesses were waiting in the nearby witness room.

Sentence was deferred until 23rd July for Haughian to be dealt with by sheriff Philip Mann, by which time background reports will be compiled by social workers.

Defence agent Tommy Allan urged honorary sheriff Sandy Cluness to release Haughian on bail. He said Haughian feared losing his job and his tenancy if he was remanded.

However, Mr MacKenzie opposed bail. He highlighted Haughian’s previous convictions, with a number of offences that were of “an unpleasant nature”.

“The situation for him is that he has backed the court into a corner and left the court without any discretion,” the fiscal said.

Honorary sheriff Cluness told Haughian: “I’ve listened carefully to what your solicitor has said, but these are serious charges – so serious that sheriff Mann has decided to deal with them himself.

“In view of all that has been said and the seriousness of the charges I will defer sentence until 23rd July, and you will be remanded in custody.”