Man smeared faeces on walls during ‘depraved’ night in the cells

A man who smeared his faeces around a police cell, masturbated in front of CCTV cameras and threatened to infect officers with Aids, has been jailed for almost three years.

Craig Nelson’s behaviour was described as “depraved”, “disgusting” and “heinous”.

Appearing via video-link at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday, the 44-year-old Grampian prisoner admitted seven charges.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said it began in Lerwick on the afternoon of 1st October when a woman called 999 asking for Nelson to be removed from her home in Bruce Crescent.

During the call, Nelson could be heard shouting, swearing and threatening neighbours, the court was told.

When officers arrived, Mr MacKenzie said it was clear Nelson was “heavily intoxicated”.

Although he agreed to leave, Nelson “maliciously” kicked a bus shelter causing damage.

He then called the complainer while officers were still at her house, telling her: “Don’t talk to the police or I will come and smash you.”

The officers then went to arrest Nelson at his Staney Hill address, only for him to resit, struggle violently and spit at them.

He struggled so much, the court heard that he and two officers almost fell down a flight of stairs.

Eventually, he was carried into the police car, where he continued to threaten officers with violence, saying he would “find out where they lived”.

Mr MacKenzie said the abuse was “relentless” and involved racist or homophobic comments.

His behaviour was so troublesome it took 45 minutes to get him out of the police car when it arrived at the station.

During this time he kept up a “tirade” of abuse.

Mr MacKenzie said Nelson was spitting in the vehicle, telling officers he was infected with Aids and hepatitis C – diseases he was rumoured to have been infected with.

When the officers finally managed to get Nelson out of the vehicle he attempted to bite one on the hand, and butted another on the head, “causing a great deal of pain”.

Once in a cell, he turned his attention to the police officer responsible for keeping an eye on him.

Positioning himself in front of the cell CCTV camera, he removed his underwear and in full view of the camera began to masturbate, the court heard.

A short while later he appeared to be unresponsive and an ambulance was called.

Before paramedics could examine him, however, he woke up and began shouting and swearing again.

He then soaked toilet paper and tried to block the toilet and cover the CCTV camera.

Next he smeared mucus and faeces over the cell walls and door.

After a brief hiatus, Mr MacKenzie said he managed to get the attention of another officer, positioning himself in front of the camera again.

“He bent down, exposed his anus, penetrated his anus with his finger, withdrew it and licked it,” Mr MacKenzie said.

“I don’t think words can properly convey the depravity of his conduct in that cell.”

Mr MacKenzie said the behaviour continued until midnight – more than four hours after he was first brought into custody, wasting a significant amount of police and ambulance resources.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client had struggled with drug addiction for many years.

Once a promising sportsman, with an invite to try out for Doncaster Rovers FC, Mr Allan said Nelson’s life had since been “blighted” by drugs.

“It may not provide an excuse for the behaviour he exhibited on the day but it gives some background to how the downward spiral of his life began,” he added.

Mr Allan said his client was “not proud of himself”.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said: “To act aggressively towards a vulnerable woman, kick and damage a bus shelter and abuse police officers is bad enough.

“But compounding that by acting is such a sustained, threatening and frankly disgusting manner towards police officers, raises this highly culpable course of conduct to an entirely different level.”

Sheriff Cruickshank, taking into account the early plea as well as aggravating factors, sentenced Nelson to a total of 33 months imprisonment.

The sentence was backdated to 3rd October when he was first remanded in custody.


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