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COURT ROUND-UP: High-speed chase and attack at music festival among last month's Inverness court business

By Ali Morrison

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Inverness Sheriff Court saw a huge mix of criminal business in June.

Here's our recap of some of the cases that made the headlines last month.

Louie Berry appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court.
Louie Berry appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court.

A motorcyclist who drove too fast made a sheriff furious after he heard of the high-speed chase by police for several miles through Inverness.

Louie Berry, who had only been banned from the road for another sequence of dangerous driving the previous month, removed his number plate to try and avoid detection on May 8 this year.

READ MORE: Motorcyclist banned for more than two years after high-speed Inverness chase

An armed attacker who wounded two teenagers at a canal footpath after he was freed on bail has been jailed for five years.

Max Roberts-Dineen (35) encountered the girl and boy and assaulted both victims with a knife as they made their way along a path beside the Caledonian Canal in Inverness.

Last month, the High Court in Edinburgh heard neither of the victims knew the accused before the attacks on August 19 last year.

READ MORE: Jail for knifeman who assaulted teens at canal footpath in Inverness

An Inverness man who sparked a serious incident by waving a toy gun that could be mistaken for a real weapon, appeared from custody at the city’s sheriff court.

Alan Craig (57), of Muirtown Street, admitted behaving in a threatening manner on February 7 this year by brandishing the toy gun at his home, at members of the public, at passing vehicles on nearby Kenneth Street and even at a police response vehicle arriving at the scene.

READ MORE: Man waved toy gun that could be mistaken for loaded firearm, Inverness Sheriff Court hears

A sheriff at Inverness told a driver he had been driving at a “ridiculous speed” on what she believed is Scotland’s most dangerous road.

Barber Jason Johnson appeared before Sheriff Sara Matheson to admit a charge of dangerous driving by hitting 123mph on a dual-carriageway section of the A9 at Alvie near Aviemore.

READ MORE: Sheriff tells speeder 123mph was ‘ridiculous’ speed on A9 ‘Scotland’s most dangerous road’

Police acting on intelligence they received raided an address in the town and discovered that a young man was in possession of hundreds of indecent sexual images and videos of children on his mobile phone.

This was heard at Inverness Sheriff Court, when Mitchel Stephen (21) appeared on indictment and admitted that between January 2022 and January 3, 2023 at Smithton Park and Murray Road or elsewhere he was in possession of indecent photos or videos of children being sexually exploited.

READ MORE: Police raid reveals Inverness man’s possession of hundreds of child pornography images

A violent rapist who carried out a campaign of abuse and assault against two women has been jailed for 10 years.

Lewis Forbes subjected his victims to repeated brutality at addresses in the Highlands during which he throttled both women, one of whom was the victim of a life threatening attack.

READ MORE: Rapist jailed for attacks on women in Inverness, Tain and Dornoch

A teenager's year-long crime spree came to an end at the beginning of May when he breached a bail curfew and was remanded in custody.

Connor Stewart, who previously lived in Dingwall and Inverness, but was now of no fixed abode, began his string of offending on May 30, 2023 at Inverness's Morrison's supermarket.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that the 19-year-old was intoxicated and stumbling around in the store when he was approached by a staff member whom he punched on the head and attempted to kick before fleeing into Millburn Road.

READ MORE: No second chance for teenager after Inverness and Dingwall incidents

An American tourist's first taste of Scotch whisky is likely to be his last after he attacked his girlfriend in Inverness city centre.

Sheriff Gary Aitken was told that 29-year-old Casey Cameron, of Long Beach, New York had been socialising all evening on June 12 this year with other family members.

Fiscal depute Robert Weir said that the holidaymakers had a disagreement apparently over a suggestion she had been flirting with someone during the evening.

READ MORE: New York tourist admits whisky-fuelled assault in Inverness city centre

A father-of-two failed to notice flashing lights indicating a 20mph school zone and carried on at 50mph.

But police caught 39-year-old Ross MacFarlane, of Cullaird Road, Inverness on August 31, 2022 and charged him with dangerous driving.

MacFarlane appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court and admitted a lesser charge of careless driving.

READ MORE: Inverness man caught at 50mph in 20mph zone outside school

An Inverness man who had almost £15,000 worth of cannabis in his home claimed he had bought it in bulk on the internet to help him cope with life.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that 32-year-old Michael Hamill had "a difficult upbringing" and had moved from abusing alcohol from the age of 16 to using up to 3.5 grams of the drug a day.

READ MORE: Almost £15k worth of cannabis found at Inverness man’s home

Staff at city centre shops in Inverness helped police identify the perpetrator of a vicious assault by photographing him after he had knocked a man unconscious.

The incident happened on the morning of July 4 last year in Inverness’s High Street about 9.05am when 41 year old Christopher Sturrock, of Millerton Avenue, Inverness, saw his victim and both began to struggle.

READ MORE: Inverness thug caught after being snapped by shop staff

A refusal to rekindle a relationship led to an innocent bystander suffering a broken jaw as the spurned boyfriend lashed out at a man on his mobile phone near him.

Michael Anderson's single punch caused significant damage to his victim's mouth which required surgery to insert three metal plates to fuse the same number of fractures.

READ MORE: Spurned boyfriend from Muir of Ord broke innocent bystander’s jaw at Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival

Two drugs couriers who sampled some of their illegal cargo were described by a sheriff as "blindingly stupid" after hearing a police car's officers smelt the cannabis as they travelled on the A82.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told they turned the police vehicle around near Invermoriston at around 3.45am on June 2, 2022 having initially been concerned about 26-year-old Nathan McKee's manner of driving.

READ MORE: ‘You were not the masterminds’ blasts sheriff as men from Inverness and Balintore had £40k of cannabis in sports bag on A82

A Liverpool man who was released early from prison after being jailed for three years for fire-raising in Inverness was caught with almost £60,000 worth of Class B drugs.

Joseph Robinson (27) was found by police in properties in Inverlochy Crescent, Inverness and Brig Wynd, Forres between February 2 and February 7, 2024 with over 1.5kg of ketamine.

READ MORE: Liverpool man released early from jail had £60k worth of drugs in Inverness and Forres

A 29-year-old man has appeared in private at Inverness Sheriff Court in connection with alleged incidents in Nairn on June 18 which prompted an armed response unit to attend.

Haseeb Imran, of no fixed abode, made no plea to assaulting a man to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement by stabbing him on the face with a knife at a flat in Provost Ronnie Watson House, Courthouse Lane.

READ MORE: Man accused of Nairn knife attack

A policewoman had her buttocks touched by a 28-year-old man who had been arrested and taken to Burnett Road Police Station in Inverness.

Kurt Hercher admitted at Inverness Sheriff Court the abusive behaviour which caused the officer fear and alarm on June 16, 2023.

READ MORE: Arrested Inverness man touched policewoman’s buttocks

A 23-year-old Liverpool drug dealer and a 30-year-old Inverness woman have both been sentenced to unpaid community work at Inverness Sheriff Court after admitting being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

Paul Wade, of Dunbar Road, and Olivia Mackay, now of Croft Street, Dalkeith had sentence deferred for background reports before being dealt with by Sheriff Ian Cruickshank. They had previously admitted being concerned in the supply of the narcotic at a house in Murray Terrace, Inverness, on March 22, 2021.

READ MORE: Police raid after tip-off finds cocaine in Inverness house

Police officers acting on a tip-off stopped a car as it drove up the A9 at Milton of Leys.

At the wheel of the Citroen C3 was 37-year-old Ailsa Macdonald, of Bruce Gardens, Inverness who was arrested and taken to Burnett Road Police Station in Inverness on the afternoon of October 7, 2022.

READ MORE: Strip search of Inverness woman finds A9 drug-driver had £3.7k worth of heroin

A woman received an apology from her boyfriend after he attacked her only to receive a death threat weeks later.

Gary Walker, of Parkfield View, Inverness was on bail at the time and had a non-harassment order in force to protect the woman.

READ MORE: Inverness man jailed after ‘appalling’ domestic assault

A 28-year-old Inverness man carried out "a sustained and callous course of abusive behaviour" towards his partner who was pregnant during some of his cruel campaign.

James Stewart, of Longman caravan site, who also lived in Elgin and Lossiemouth, previously pleaded guilty at Inverness Sheriff Court to the course of domestic abuse in all these locations which occurred between June 1, 2021 and September 18, 2023. He also admitted that two of his previous convictions involved the same victim.

READ MORE: Inverness man jailed for “callous course of abusive behaviour" towards woman

A police sergeant who was left with a bite mark on his leg when an Inverness man bit his shin is to receive £1200 in compensation from his attacker.

Dainis Letkovskis sank his teeth into the officer's leg as he was being assisted into a police van following a call by relatives that the 29-year-old was being aggressive.

READ MORE: Inverness man ‘had to be hit 7 times’ to release bite on policeman’s leg

Neighbours who had just met and had a friendly chat in a local pub fell out after smoking cannabis and drinking more alcohol.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told that 31-year-old Steven Martin, of Galloway Drive, was in Blacksmiths when he met a man and his girlfriend with neither realising before they left a few doors apart.

READ MORE: Drink and drugs-fuelled encounter turned violent in Inverness

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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