Bus driver admits ‘childish’ assaults

A bus driver who admitted two assaults in the form of “childish” workplace disputes has been fined.

Wilson Keith, 54, pleaded guilty to two offences dating back to September 2017 and June 2018 when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

The first charge against Keith, of Voderview, Lerwick, refers to the latter of these two incidents and states that on or between 1st and 30th June 2018 he assaulted a man at the John Leask & Son bus depot by kicking him on the body and throwing water from a bucket at him.

The second charge refers to an incident a year prior and states that on 30th September 2017 Keith pushed a step ladder at and punched the same man, also at the bus depot.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said that the 2017 incident followed an “outburst of rage” which came because Keith wrongly believed the complainer to be using his ladder.

In 2018 the pair squared off again when the complainer became frustrated with the length of time Keith was spending at a washing bay, the court heard. Mr MacKenzie said that Keith had kicked the man repeatedly in the legs and the complainer believed that he had been aiming for the tender site around a recent hip operation.

Defence agent Gregor Kelly said that there was “a toxic atmosphere between the two men” and said much of Keith’s frustration came from his belief that the complainer had assumed “seniority” despite starting at the job later, just because he was older.

“There was no love lost between the two”, said Mr Kelly.

The defence agent referred to the assaults as “petty stuff” and said that it was not behaviour “becoming of a grown man”.

He also pointed to Keith’s record which included no previous violent incidents.

Mr Kelly also stated that his client was “unaware” of the hip operation and denied the accusation that he had been aiming for the man’s hip area.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said that the charges “seem to be [for] rather childish behaviour”, adding: “There was no serious injury as such but it doesn’t excuse committing these instances of assault”.

He fined Keith £375 for the two charges and ordered that he pay £100 in compensation to the complainer.


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