Court smirker told to do 150 hours of unpaid work

A smirking offender who stripped naked before striking a young female friend in a “bizarre” offence has been ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Ryan Paterson, 25, of Bressay’s Glebe Park, previously admitted taking off his clothes and screaming at the woman, striking her on the head and causing injury.

He ran naked from the address at Lerwick’s Hoofields and brandished a hammer he had stolen, using it to smash a window to regain entry to the house.

Paterson also struggled violently with police. The offences happened on 19th February.

Sentence at Lerwick Sheriff Court was previously deferred for background reports.

But today defence agent Tommy Allan said he had been pleasantly surprised by the social worker’s findings, given Paterson’s questionable conduct during previous court appearances.

He said Paterson had shown signs of “demonstrating a better sense of maturity” about his offence.

“I hope you would take the view he’s not ready for custody yet in terms of the offending,” Mr Allan said.

Sheriff Philip Mann was initially perturbed by Paterson’s tendency to smile, or smirk, while he was in the dock, but said he was willing to assume it was a nervous reaction.

Mr Allan said that, even when passing on bad news to Paterson, he had noticed the accused “grinning back”.

“I don’t think it’s a deliberate mark of disrespect,” he told the court.

Sheriff Mann told Paterson: “This is a really bizarre situation, and it’s difficult to understand what you were playing at. I suppose you don’t even fully understand yourself what you were doing.”

Placing Paterson on one year’s supervision, he ordered the unpaid hours be completed within nine months.


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