Nelson says in custody after turning up at court drunk

A man has been remanded in custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court after appearing in the dock drunk.

Lerwick resident Craig Nelson was due to stand trial after facing several charges, including brandishing a knife.

But he was warned he could be found in contempt of court after he attended in a drunken state.

Nelson, 37, of Hoofields, previously pleaded not guilty to eight charges including one of breach of the peace by conducting himself in a disorderly manner, shouting, swearing, threatening to assault people and slit their throats and kill others, repeatedly knocking on windows and doors of a neighbouring house, demanding the occupants come out, brandishing a knife and pretending to damage a car tyre.

Other charges included possessing a knife without reasonable excuse and behaving in a threatening and abusive manner by threatening to kill police officers.

Nelson also denied assaulting three police officers by repeatedly kicking one on the leg, repeatedly trying to head-butt another and trying to bite a third on the hand.

He denied behaving in a threatening and abusive manner at Lerwick police station and threatening to kill police officers and maliciously smearing faeces on a police cell camera and urinating over the cell door.

Nelson had been released on bail. But when he appeared in the dock today Sheriff Philip Mann asked if he was intoxicated.

“Yes, I might have had a drink,” Nelson replied, later adding he had drunk a can of Special Brew.

He was taken to the cells amid warnings that he may be found in contempt of court. But when he reappeared a short time later, defence agent Tommy Allan said he felt unable to take instructions from his client.

The sheriff said it was not a “foregone conclusion” that Nelson had been contemptuous of the court, because the alcohol he had drunk may have reacted badly with prescription drugs. But he was not persuaded that Nelson should be allowed his liberty.

The sheriff remanded Nelson in custody until next Tuesday, when a notional trial diet was fixed.

A separate charge alleging he had allowed himself to be carried in a car knowing it had been taken without consent was continued without plea.


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