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Inverness court imposes curfew on handyman's attacker

By Ali Morrison

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Inverness Sheriff Court.
Inverness Sheriff Court.

A 32-year-old who attacked a handyman because he was taking too long to finish a house he was refurbishing in Avoch has been given a curfew.

Brian Stirling, of Jindalee Cottages, Dingwall, will not be allowed to leave his home from 9pm-7am for the next three months, as an alternative to custody.

Sheriff Sara Matheson also placed him under a year’s social work supervision.

Sentence had been deferred for a background report following a trial, during which Stirling denied assaulting Tony Culver on January 29.

Defence agent Marc Dickson told Inverness Sheriff Court his client had been diagnosed with ADHD and the report did not assess him as posing a great risk of causing serious harm to others.

Mr Culver (50) was kicked on the head and throttled after a confrontation with Stirling, who occasionally helped him on that project. Stirling was a friend of the two owners of the property in Mackay Terrace, Avoch.

Mr Culver told the court he had been working on the house since last November. He said the job was taking longer than expected and Stirling accused him of conning his friends.

“They told me they were running out of money and I said I would do what I could to help them,” he said.

“Brian would come occasionally to help speed things up. I saw him coming to the door. I was working with filler on the floor and I said to him that he didn’t look happy. He said he was not, and then I felt a blow to my head. I think it was a boot.

“Then he had his arms around my throat, strangling me. I was struggling to breathe and I thought I was going to die.

“There were punches as well. I don’t know how I got out. I assumed he let me go.”

He denied taking advantage of the owners, explaining the job was taking longer than anticipated.

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