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Inverness shop worker pushed and racially abused by Thurso man

By Ali Morrison

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Station News closed at the end of October.
Station News closed at the end of October.

A disturbance at Inverness's bus station led to a shop worker being threatened and racially abused by a customer he ordered out of the premises.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that Station News, in Farraline Park, was very busy on September 23, 2022 and there was a restriction on the number of customers being allowed in.

A passing traffic warden then filmed what happened next on his body-cam as 41-year-old John MacAskill, now of Holburn Avenue, Thurso tried to access the shop.

Fiscal depute David Morton said: "He was asked to wait outside as the shop was busy and matters deteriorated. He was told to leave the store after shouting and swearing at the retail assistant.

"He pushed him, uttered a threat of violence and told him to go back to his own country. It is clear from the footage that he was under the influence of some substance."

Defence solicitor Rory Gowans, whose client pleaded guilty to assaulting a retail worker, told Sheriff Ian Cruickshank: "With the benefit of sobriety he offers his apologies. He has moved to Thurso to make a fresh start, is now off methadone and engaging with the support services there.

"His recollection of this is virtually nil and he has not offended since."

Ordering MacAskill to carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work, Sheriff Cruickshank told him: "Your behaviour was totally unacceptable."

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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