A Polish man who spat at a bus driver was remanded in custody when he appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court today.
Marcin Olejniczak, 34, of Horseshoe Close, Virkie, admitted the assault, which took place on the Esplanade on 20th August. He also admitted breaching the peace by shouting and swearing at the bus driver, prior to spitting at him, when he was told he was not allowed to travel on the bus.
Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Olejniczak was well-known for his drunken and abusive behaviour and was a constant source of trouble. The bus driver had been carrying out his duty by refusing Olejniczak entry to the bus to protect others.
Olejniczak also pleaded guilty to an incident in court yesterday when he swore while apparently drunk on the public benches and abused the clerk of the court and police during an adjournment. He was handcuffed and taken to the cells. In court today Sheriff Philip Mann ordered Olejniczak to apologise to the clerk, which he did.
Mr MacKenzie said the court incident was prolonged and the worst of its type he had encountered. He said Olejniczak had a “very significant alcohol problem”. When he was sober he was intelligent, articulate and had an excellent grasp of English, but when he was drunk he was “disgusting”.
Mr MacKenzie continued: “He’s an individual who causes significant concern to many people.” His large build and behaviour made him intimidating, and decent members of the public should not be exposed to him in that state. He was aware of his alcohol problem, however.
Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said Olejniczak was an intelligent person but drink had got the better of him. He had been in hospital twice recently with alcohol-related issues and intended to return to the drug and alcohol agency CADSS. He also hoped to go back to work at the fishmarket and picking winkles. He accepted what he did on the bus was wrong and intended to apologise to the driver.
Mr MacKenzie warned against granting Olejniczak bail because of the number of offences he had committed while on bail, and his behaviour was getting worse. Mr MacKenzie said: “If he is at liberty he will offend because of his addiction. The time has come when public protection outweighs his right to be at liberty.” He added that Olejniczak knew no boundaries, as had been shown in court the previous day.
Sheriff Philip Mann deferred sentence for reports, but refused bail, telling Olejniczak he was “out of control”. The sheriff said: “Your offending behaviour is disgusting and totally out of order.” He warned that a custodial sentence was possible, depending on the outcome of the reports, but he would remand him meantime to save the “good people of Shetland from having to put up with you”.
Sentence was deferred until 17th October.