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Sheriff gives Inverness man another chance after fall-out between friends

By Ali Morrison

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The Inverness Justice Centre locator..Court...Picture: Gary Anthony..
The Inverness Justice Centre locator..Court...Picture: Gary Anthony..

A FALL-OUT between friends resulted in an Inverness city centre chase and threats being made by one pal.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that victim John Muir ran into the Co-op, in Church Street, on May 5, 2020 to seek refuge from 47-year-old John Mackay.

Mackay kept shouting and swearing at Mr Muir, who was on the phone to police, while staff at the store prevented Mackay from entering.

Police were quickly on the scene and arrested Mackay before later obtaining CCTV footage of the incident, the court was told.

Mackay had previously admitted threatening or abusive behaviour. He also admitted twice breaching an undertaking that he would not contact Mr Muir and was remanded in custody on May 20 this year.

Defence solicitor Marc Dickson said his client had served 34 prison sentences in the past 13 years and was now at an age where he had to decide to continue offending and serve a longer period in jail.

“He grew up with the complainer and they spent time together in homeless accommodation and in prison,” Mr Dickson said.

“He found the Covid lockdown difficult and felt isolated.

“There was some friction which developed between them but why has been lost in the mists of time but it gave rise to the way he behaved.”

After reading a positive social work report, which Sheriff Sara Matheson praised for its detail, Mackay of Castle Street, Dingwall was placed under supervision for two years.

But the sheriff told him: “The social worker does not write you off and neither do I.

“You should put your intelligence to good use but this will be your one chance.”

She ordered a review after three months to check on Mackay’s progress.

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