Sentence deferred as man admits possessing knife, throwing glass and making threats

A 24-year-old Lerwick man has had his sentence deferred after he admitted possessing a kitchen knife in the town’s Hoofields.

Trevor Couper, of Hoofields, Lerwick, pleaded guilty to having the knife on 12th July without reasonable care or excuse or lawful authority when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Monday.

Couper also admitted other offences. These included shouting, swearing, throwing a glass and making threats at The Lounge bar on Mounthooly Street, Lerwick, and the Market Cross on 30th June and obstructing or hindering police on at the Market Cross on the same date.

Couper pleaded guilty to assaulting a man at an address in Sandveien on 7th February by seizing him, punching him and repeatedly attempting to stab him on the body with a fork.

Referring to the knife incident procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Couper had it to defend himself and was carrying it when he left his home looking for help.

“There is no doubt there was a confrontation between Mr Couper and others,” Mr MacKenzie said.

“There’s a history of bad feeling and there’s a lack of clarity as to where exactly that confrontation took place.”

He said Couper was outnumbered which led to him fleeing his home and running to a neighbour’s house, taking a knife with him.

“It’s clear that in his mind he was at risk.”

On the other charge, Mr MacKenzie said Couper had been staying at the address in Sandveien and on the day in question had been drinking.

“His sister was not happy about him engaging with his wee niece and she could smell his intoxication,” Mr MacKenzie said.

An argument developed and Couper repeatedly refused to leave the house.

The woman called her partner who tried to physically remove Couper from the home, said Mr MacKenzie.

The court heard Mr Couper had a fork to eat his food which he assaulted the man with.

At The Lounge the procurator fiscal said Couper had been drinking and “basically making a fool of himself”.

Another patron told Couper to behave and pushed Couper to the ground. He then got up and started shouting and swearing.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client had been in custody since July and things had not been going well for Mr Couper before he was remanded.

He was now sober, he said and a drug treatment testing order was still in place.

He asked Sheriff Philip Mann to take into account his time in custody and consider being “creative” with his options, including looking at a community payback order.
Mr Allan said he would not give mitigation yet if background reports were being called for.

However, he said: “I think my friend accepted that the knife was in his possession in fairly peculiar circumstances.

“It does appear from the evidence that at least three people entered his house, kicked his door in and one was coming through the bottom of his door when he left his house and has gone to his neighbour’s house to seek help.”

Sheriff Mann deferred sentence for background reports and remanded Couper in custody.

He said the offences would merit a custodial sentence, but he would consider reports and see if backdating Couper’s time in custody could mean a community payback order.


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