Teenager told to pay compensation to assault victims

A Lerwick taxi driver politely told a drunk man he could not take a dog in his car because he was allergic to the animal.

When 18-year-old Aidan McAlister reacted angrily the driver got out and tried to calm him down, asking him to go away. Instead the teenager hit him.

The attack happened on Victoria Pier last December and McAlister, of Grodians, Lerwick,  pleaded guilty to it in March as well as to assaulting a policeman who had been called to apprehend him.

Today at Lerwick Sheriff Court, McAlister was placed on probation for a year for the assault, ordered to do 40 hours voluntary work and pay £150 compensation to the cabbie.

Sheriff Graeme Napier was not impressed to hear that McAlister had also uttered threats about him and the procurator fiscal during his confrontation with the policeman.

McAlister’s punishment was doubled by the sheriff when he admitted another assault, this time on a woman at a house party in Lerwick. He had been due to contest the charge at a trial yesterday but changed his plea to guilty after the charge was modified to reduce the seriousness of the attack.

The court heard that during the incident in a bedroom at a house in Nordvatn in October last year he pulled the woman to the ground, tugging her hair in the process. He then poured beer over her.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the attack happened after the pair traded insults. The woman was left bruised, distressed and humiliated with a ripped dress. McAlister said after sentencing that he did not inflict the bruises.

For that assault Sheriff Napier gave him another 40 hours voluntary work and ordered him to pay the woman £150 compensation.

He could have meted out more severe punishment to McAlister than he did but he drew some encouragement from his background reports. McAlister has nearly completed a four-year apprenticeship, is keen to work and still has a job despite his troubles with the law.

But the sheriff highlighted the youth’s problems with immaturity and anger management when he is drinking. He told McAlister he was “a strange mixture” and his bad traits would be addressed during his year on probation.

His defence agent Tommy Allan said McAlister had apologised to the woman the day after he assaulted her.


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