Bail granted after man’s assault on his partner

A 29-year-old man has been granted bail “by the smallest of margins” after pleading guilty to assaulting his partner.

Wayne Hunter, of Wista, Lerwick, admitted seizing his partner by the throat and pushing her against a wall when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

The offence occurred at the town’s Hangcliff Lane on Monday.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the offence had occurred after Hunter accused his partner “of being unfaithful to him”.

The fiscal moved to oppose bail on the grounds that Hunter had a history of violent offending, including offences which had occurred while on bail.

Of Hunter’s record, Mr MacKenzie said: “It contains a number of convictions for violence. By my calculation, there are 10 convictions for assault … [and] a number of offences aggravated by being committed whilst on bail.

“There is a previous conviction for breaching a special condition of bail, which was imposed in a domestic incident. This would now be the fifth offence which bares the relatively new domestic abuse categorisation.”

But defence agent Tommy Allan argued that his client should be granted bail, with Hunter having kept a clean record for several years. It had been “nearly five years since he’s been in court for this kind of offence”, Mr Allan said.

The defence agent also said that Hunter was the main financial provider for his family, which included a young daughter.

The offence was committed while under the influence of alcohol and Hunter had “no recollection” of it taking place, Mr Allan said. And the accused had already “expressed to me an intention to seek councilling”, he added.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank moved to delay sentencing for background reports and said that the decision to grant or deny bail was “finely balanced”.

He said that “by the smallest of margins” he was satisfied to grant bail, but only to an address separate to the one Hunter shared with the complainer.

Hunter was also told not to approach or contact his partner or to attend her address. He will return to court for sentencing next month.


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