Custody for threatening behaviour

A man who pleaded guilty to entering a house uninvited, threatening a woman sleeping there and behaving aggressively, was sent back to custody when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court today.

The court heard that Matthew Smith, 29, of Stanegarth, Lerwick, had gone into the house in the town’s Bruce Crescent at 7.10am on Sunday, and woke the woman sleeping downstairs by placing his hand on her face.

He took her phone to prevent her calling for help and she asked him who he was looking for. Smith had been looking for a man at the address, but he was not there at the time.

Smith appeared to be “under the influence” and the woman had the presence of mind to trip him up. He fell against a coffee table and broke a glass, which woke the other occupants of the house. They escorted Smith from the premises and called the police.

Officers found him walking in the area, and when taken back to the police station Smith maintained he was so intoxicated he had no memory of events.

Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said Smith knew the people at the address, but he “didn’t always get on with people”.

Although Smith was “well-known” in court, he had “turned his life around” by not having appeared in court for a year and managing to get clean of drugs, Mr Allan said.

He was now working as a rigger earning £800 per week, and, as alcohol had taken the place of drugs, he had an appointment with CADSS.

Mr Allan asked for bail, and said Smith had “everything to lose” if kept in custody, where he had been since Sunday.

But procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Smith had not been “haplessly stumbling” around. He had gone to the address looking for a specific individual, and had the presence of mind to stop the woman calling assistance.

If he was intoxicated he was lying if he said he was “clean”, Mr MacKenzie said, and given his record of offences he was likely to re-offend if released.

Honorary sheriff Arnold Duncan agreed and refused bail. He called for reports to be produced before Smith appears for sentencing on 24th July.


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