Covid spitter sentence is deferred

A Glaswegian who threatened staff at Sella Ness Lodge will have to wait for a social care report before learning his sentence, Lerwick Sheriff Court heard today (Wednesday).

Stephen McDowall, 40, of Bisland Court, Glasgow, was staying at the lodge while employed at Sullom Voe. On 13th January at around 10pm McDowall complained to the front desk staff that items were missing from his room.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie told the court McDowall had been drinking and, due to his state, staff advised him to return to his room and the matter would be dealt with in the morning. McDowall complied.

An hour later, however, he returned to the front desk with his “state of inebriation increased”. An argument ensued with the staff during which McDowall used threatening and abusive behaviour including shouting threats to kill staff and “to smash them”, Mr MacKenzie told the court.

At around 12.30am the following morning McDowall was arrested and became “extremely belligerent” with police, telling them that he had Covid symptoms when being placed in a cell.

He was moved to a police vehicle where he spat repeatedly and licked its windows. Police had to don protective clothing to deal with him and took him back inside the station after Covid protocol had been observed where he continued to impede officers in their duty.

Mr MacKenzie told the court two police vehicles had to be deep cleaned at “a great deal of inconvenience”.

Defence agent Tommy Allan told the court McDowall had lost his job because of the incident and is now on Universal Credit.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank described McDowall’s behaviour as “absolutely dreadful” but declined to pass sentence until a social care work report has been submitted to the court.


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