23rd September 2017

Worker jailed after vicious attack on roommate who refused to leave him alone with woman

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A construction worker from Inverness who assaulted his roommate because he refused to leave their digs so he could have sex has been jailed for a year.

The prolonged assault saw the victim attacked with an iPad and a lamp and led the man to flee the house naked in search of refuge.

Darren Pollock, 30, of Clava Road in the Highland capital, admitted the vicious attack during an earlier court appearance. On Wednesday he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court for sentencing.

The incident occurred on 25th September last year at Lerwick’s West Baila, where Pollock had been living while working on the construction of the new Anderson High School in the town.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the incident occurred after Pollock returned home to his worker’s accommodation with a woman, following a night out.

Pollock asked his roommate “to leave so that he could have intercourse with the female” but the roommate refused because he had to sleep ahead of work the following morning.

Pollock proceeded to assault his roommate by repeatedly punching him on the head and face. After leaving the room Pollock returned to “complete the assault” by hitting the man with an iPad and a bedside lamp.

“The accused [then] slipped and fell which afforded the complainer the opportunity to escape”, Mr MacKenzie said.

Without time to dress Pollock’s roommate had to flee to a nearby house naked and “very distressed” where the occupant was able to phone the police and provide clothes.

Mr MacKenzie said that the victim had two teeth knocked out and suffered a cut to the head which required sutures and glue to close. As a result he had “incurred considerable dental bills,” Mr MacKenzie said.

Defence agent Shahid Latif said that the attack was not just “out of character” but “contrary to character” for his client.

He described Pollock as a “net-contributor to society” and pointed to character references which suggested he had an “exceptional work ethic”.

Mr Latif also said that there was an underlying animosity between the roommates and that though the two were “roomed together, frankly they shouldn’t have been”.

He also suggested that alcohol had been a “precipitating factor” in the assault, saying that Pollock had been on a “blow-out” on the night in question.

Pollock presented a “low risk of any likelihood of reoffending” Mr Latif suggested.

Sheriff Philip Mann, however, pointed to the prolonged nature of the attack. He said that because Pollock had left the room before returning to continue the assault the incident could not be brushed off as “spontaneous”.

“This wasn’t just a flare up and an assault which took place in one discreet period of time but you twice left the room and twice came back to continue the assault.”
Sheriff Mann added: “To strike someone whilst using a weapon to such an extent that they lose teeth and suffer lacerations to the head has to be taken very seriously.”

“Only a custodial sentence is appropriate,” Sheriff Mann told Pollock as he sentenced him to a year in prison.