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Auldearn businessman who tailgated ex through Nairn is ordered to attend domestic abuse rehabilitation programme after appearance at Inverness Sheriff Court

By Ali Morrison

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A businessman who breached a non-harassment order has escaped a jail sentence.

But strict conditions were imposed on Lee Macdonald (38), including a requirement he attend a domestic abuse rehabilitation programme.

Admitting previous convictions involving the same woman he also pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening manner towards her and driving carelessly in Nairn.

As a result he was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work, placed under two years of social work supervision and had his licence endorsed with nine penalty points.

Additionally, a new, five-year non-harassment order. was inposed.

Sentence on Macdonald, of Montrose Avenue, Auldearn, had previously been deferred by Sheriff Gary Aitken to see if he was suitable for the domestic abuse programme.

He was warned last week that, if he did not comply fully with the court order, he would go to jail.

Inverness Sheriff Court previously heard how Macdonald and his partner separated in 2019.

Fiscal depute Martina Eastwood said that on November 10 Mrs Macdonald activated a panic phone she had been given by police after her husband drew up in a car beside her.

She drove off and Macdonald followed at speed before overtaking a vehicle, causing a cyclist to take evasive action by mounting a pavement.

Ms Eastwood said Mrs Macdonald was “terrified” when he caught up with her as she was parked and opened the back door.

Solicitor Patrick O’Dea said his client felt his wife was making things difficult for him to continue his fuel supply business.

“He employs four people and there was a lot of pressure on him,” he said. “The emotion and stress of the situation overcame him. He will comply with any court order the court imposes.”

Sheriff Aitken told Macdonald: "Your behaviour does you very little credit.

"I have no interest in you running a business and the fact you employ people is no excuse for ignoring court orders.

"These actions are catastrophically stupid and you are very close to a custodial sentence."

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