18th October 2018
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Man who struggled with police is freed but told to behave

, by , in News, ST Online

A man who became involved in a violent struggle with police has been allowed his liberty over Christmas to prove he can remain of good behaviour.

Simon Cooper, 31, of Bath twice got into serious struggles with officers – incidents which were described in court as “exceedingly violent”.

The accused previously admitted carrying out the offences on 7th November. He also pleaded guilty to assaulting his partner on the same day. Cooper behaved threateningly towards her and struck her head off a wall at a Lerwick address, causing injury.

He also admitted attending the address where the woman was on 17th November, breaching a bail order directing him not to approach or contact her – although Sheriff Philip Mann was told that Cooper had gone there at her behest.

The court heard the charges were aggravated by him being abusive towards his partner.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie told the court the struggle with the police had been particularly troubling.

“It’s difficult to convey just how very violent a struggle this was. It was maybe not the norm when dealing with these types of offences. It was prolonged and exceedingly violent,” he said.

The accused was previously remanded in custody after the Crown insisted he was likely to offend again.

But defence agent Tommy Allan today said Cooper was willing to accept responsibility for what he had done.

He submitted a letter, written by Cooper, to the sheriff to read.

Cooper was not helped by a social work report which struggled to recommend any community-based disposals.

Defence agent Tommy Allan pointed to Cooper’s suffering of ADHD as an issue.

“He has a complex personality disorder that means he struggles more than most to keep a lid on his behaviour.

“The report is not ideal for him, because there is considerable hesitation with regard to many recommendations.”

However, he said Cooper’s position was that he wanted to regain contact with his children. He said his client had already spent a month in custody, and in that time had become “clean and sober”.

He urged Sheriff Mann to consider making Cooper subject to a tagging order, insisting there was merit in restricting his client’s liberty.

“If he’s given an alternative to custody today and he doesn’t take advantage of that, then there is only one place he would go.”

Sheriff Mann told Cooper there were “complex issues” needing dealt with.

“The problem I have got is the criminal justice social work report is a bit hesitant about recommending a community-based disposal, because the social worker is not sure you’d abide by that.”

Adding he would take disposing of the case “step by step”, he deferred sentence for Cooper to be of good behaviour until 30th January, and released him on bail.

“If you don’t comply with the conditions I’m setting you’ll be opening the door to a custodial sentence.

“Just because you have ADHD doesn’t mean you can kick off and struggle violently with police.”