Fine for pair after one told police ‘he would find them’

Two men have been fined close to £1,000 after pleading guilty to a Lerwick assault just before they were due to go on trial.

Christopher McKeown, 39, and 38-year-old Gerald Collins admitted repeatedly punching a staff member in the head at the Thule Bar on 18th March this year.

They also both admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, including shouting, swearing and uttering threats of violence.

Collins also pleaded guilty to threatening police, including kicking and headbutting a police vehicle.

The court heard that Collins, from Glasgow, had told police that “Shetland’s a small place”, and “he would find them”.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank later told Collins: “Shetland might be a small place, but it’s a proud place.”

Lerwick Sheriff Court was told the row revolved around the pair being asked to leave the pub after they had paid “over £10” for a cocktail.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Collins and McKeown – from Barrhead – had been drinking together at 10.15pm.

They were asked to leave, and after several attempts to get them to go a member of staff stepped out from behind the bar to order them out.

He was then punched by the pair, so the Thule manager stepped in and restrained Collins.

“He thought that if he let him [Collins] go at that point he would just leave,” the fiscal said.

“But unfortunately he didn’t.”

Instead more punches were thrown and at this point the fight moved outside.

The police then arrived and arrested Collins at the scene, with McKeown found a short distance away.

“He [Collins] started shouting and threatening officers, kicking the vehicle, butting the vehicle.

“He said, ‘Shetland’s a small place’ and he would find them.”

McKeown’s solicitor Tony Boland said the pair had “just purchased a cocktail” for “over £10” when they were asked to leave.

“They wanted to finish their drinks before they left,” he said.

Defence agent Tommy Allan, representing Collins, said by the time police arrived on the night of the incident “emotions were high”, and that his client wanted to apologise to police for his behaviour.

“It’s a matter of embarrassment for him that he had found himself back in court,” he added.

Sheriff Cruickshank was unimpressed with the pair’s behaviour, and said he had decided to fine them with “some hesitation”.

Both were fined £750, and each was also ordered to pay their victim £100 compensation.


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