A fish farm worker who assaulted his daughter and threatened to kill a man as he battered him with a hockey stick managed to avoid jail at Lerwick Sheriff Court this week.
Alan Devine, 46, of Undirhoul, Scalloway, was put on probation for 18 months, ordered to do 140 hours of voluntary work and has been restricted in when he can leave his house for the next two months. He was also ordered to pay his male victim £750 compensation. The court heard he would have to pay back his daughter with remorse for the rest of his life.
Devine had previously admitted the attacks which happened in Scalloway’s Main Street on 19th September last year after he claimed to have drunk around 20 pints and 12 nips, which he did not consider an abnormally large amount. Sheriff Graeme Napier, who regularly condemns the level of drinking accepted in Shetland, said Devine’s attitude was bizarre and that the consumption equated to around 50 units of alcohol. “How can anyone think that is normal – even in Shetland terms?”
Defence agent Tommy Allan said he had since moderated the amount he drank. He has also restored relations with his daughter who was helping him deal with his previously undiagnosed depression.
The violence occurred when Devine left a pub and saw his daughter with the man he later assaulted. He refused his daughter’s advice to go home and punched the man to the ground when he tried to placate Devine.
After being restrained, Devine had run home, returning with a hockey stick. He threw his daughter to the ground, hitting her on the hand with his weapon. Someone threw the stick into a bush but Devine retrieved it and ran up to the man he had punched previously, knocking him to the ground again with the stick and hammering him repeatedly. The man had to be taken to hospital with lacerations to his skull and severe bruising.
Devine’s employer gave him a character reference and sat with him in court to offer support.
The sheriff branded the assaults “disgraceful”, particularly since Devine had been disarmed yet went and armed himself a second time. That he could not explain his behaviour was of no help to the sheriff but he said he would have been entirely justified in sending him to jail. However, that would also have punished his wife and children who depended on him for money.