1st October 2016
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Man jailed for brandishing knife at taxi office

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A man who caused “extreme terror” when he tried to force his way into a taxi office while armed with a knife has been sentenced to 14 months in prison.

Ross MacDougall, 28, of Ladies Drive in Lerwick previously admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner on 30th June.

He had a knife in his waistband as he attempted to force entry into the Allied Taxis premises in the town’s North Road, repeatedly pushing against a door which the proprietor was struggling to keep shut.

MacDougall had been binging on drink and other substances for four to five days when the offence took place.

Subsequent to the offence he stabbed a man in Inverness, for which he is already serving his first custodial term.

Sentence for the Lerwick crime had been deferred until this week for background reports.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said MacDougall could offer little in the way of explanation for what he had done.

He said MacDougall had been taking drink and Valium, but expressed regret and shame for what had taken place.

Mr Allan added the background report highlighted “serious issues” which may provide reason for MacDougall’s substance misuse.

“It’s clearly something he needs to explore coming to terms with, and dealing with,” the defence agent added.

“Things were spiralling out of control.”

He said it was fortunate MacDougall did not manage to get into the taxi office, but said there was no injury involved. It was not, he said, an incident that lasted a long period of time.

Adding that MacDougall had already spent some time in custody, Mr Allan said his client had seen how dangerous his activities had been.

“He’s had ample time to consider how his life was being led and what he would need to do to address that.”

However sheriff Philip Mann told MacDougall: “It must have caused extreme terror to the complainer to be confronted by a man brandishing a knife and trying to force his way into a taxi office. I can see no other appropriate disposal than a custodial sentence.”

MacDougall will only begin his new sentence once his existing prison term has run its course. Sheriff Mann also granted a motion from the Crown for the knife to be forfeited.