Aberdeen man fined for ‘vicious’ assault on Norwegian sailor

An Aberdeen man who took part in a “particularly vicious assault” on  Norwegian sailor was fined almost £700 at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

The court heard that Darren Sutherland, 26, of Bankhead Avenue, Bucksburn, Aberdeen, had been drinking and watching a football match in a Lerwick pub with two associates on 20th January.

The victim, whose vessel was in Lerwick, joined their table but it became apparent his presence was not welcome and he was told it was unsafe for him to remain.

The sailor went to leave but was confronted on the stairs in an aggressive manner by one of Sutherland’s associates. Feeling under threat, the sailor headbutted the man and ran away. He was pursued through Commercial Road and Pirate Lane, where Sutherland and his associates tackled him to the ground and assaulted him.

Sutherland accepted he had had too much to drink. The incident earned him several nights in police cells and as a result he had lost his job.

Sheriff William Summers said that in spite of the behaviour of the complainer, the conduct of Sutherland and his colleagues was “shameful and absolutely cowardly”.

The sheriff fined Sutherland £80 for breaching the peace during the incident and £600 for the assault.

Meanwhile, taking a boat out “for a run” when three and a half times over the legal alcohol limit resulted in an appearance in court on Wednesday for a Lerwick man.

Andrew Martin, 37, of Robertson Crescent, admitted taking a 14-foot pleasure boat out in Morrison Dock on 24th June with 273 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80.

The court heard that two people walking had seen Martin navigating the boat. It was heading into the dock and appeared erratic, and collided with the quay. Harbour police were contacted and Martin attempted to come alongside again. The two witnesses were helped by a passer-by and between them they secured the boat, holding onto the mooring rope.

Martin refused a police request to come ashore and eventually police forcibly dragged him off the boat, which was dangerous for both them and him.

Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said in hindsight Martin realised he was in no condition to be out in a boat and accepted his drinking was out of control. He was now on medication for depression and had stopped drinking.

Sheriff William Summers told Martin, a married man with a family, that being in charge of a motor boat in his condition could have had very serious consequences.

However due to his “limited record” of offending he would limit Martin’s financial penalty to £600.


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