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Inverness father of five escapes jail sentence for Fort Augustus sexual assault

By Ali Morrison

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Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.
Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.

A man has been spared a jail sentence after being found guilty of carrying out a sexual assault.

Alan West's victim gave evidence at his trial in Inverness Sheriff Court last month and told Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald she had forgiven him and asked for him not to be jailed.

When West, of Telford Street, Inverness, appeared for sentence after a background report had been prepared, the sheriff acceded to the woman's request and ordered the 53 year old to carry out the maximum 300 hours of unpaid community work instead.

She also placed the former chef under two years supervision and on the Sex Offenders' Register for the same period.

West had been found guilty of attacking the woman in a house in Fort Augustus on December 11, 2022 to her injury and danger of life after a heavy drinking session.

He seized her by the neck, restricting her breathing, and removed her lower clothing before sexually assaulting her, though defence counsel, Bill Adam, said his client continued to deny the sexual element.

He added: "He is at low risk of offending as far as a sexual offence is concerned. He has a limit record of prior offences which are a product of his alcohol issues.

"The report has recommended a community based disposal and he could be rehabilitated in the community."

Sheriff Macdonald told West: "The evidence of the complainer was that she did not want you to be jailed and there is no animosity.

"It was an appalling incident which must have been frightening, humiliating and dangerous for her.

"You were highly intoxicated and caused her harm. I could easily send you to jail. But the complainer had sympathy for you and forgave you.

"Because of your relative lack of convictions, what is said in the report and what Mr Adam and the complainer have said to me, I can impose a community payback order.

"But if you don't comply, you will go to jail."

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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