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Lack of paperwork means Inverness attacker must await fate

By Ali Morrison

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Sheriff Gary Aitken.
Sheriff Gary Aitken.

Sentence has again been deferred on a 22-year-old Inverness man who attacked a woman and her 17-year-old son in their home.

Jack Mackenzie, of Hawthorn Drive, Inverness, who appeared from remand by video link, had been due to be sentenced by Sheriff Gary Aitken after a background report had been prepared.

But the sheriff was told that the report had not been done due to "unforeseen circumstances".

Defence solicitor John MacColl was critical of the Criminal Justice Department because the report had not been forthcoming as his client was easily accessible in custody.

He asked for his client to be released on bail.

Sheriff Aitken was also puzzled and said that he expected the report at the next calling on January 18. But he refused Mr MacColl's motion and further remanded Mackenzie.

Mackenzie had previously pleaded guilty to two charges of assault to severe injury, one with a telescopic baton on the woman.

Defence solicitor advocate Mike Chapman asked Sheriff Gary Aitken to call for a background report and that he had been instructed by Mackenzie to ask for bail.

However, Sheriff Aitken noted that Mackenzie had two previous serious cases, rejected bail but agreed to a report.

The court heard that Mackenzie went to a house in Caledonian Road occupied by his two friends and was welcomed with a hug by the woman.

Fiscal depute Susan Love said: "There was a knock at her door and she welcomed him in. He was a long-time family friend and she hugged him.

"She went into the living room but heard a bang. She went out and he produced a baton and hit her with it.

"He then punched her son once and he hit his head on the television set."

The court heard that the teenager was rendered unconscious.

Ms Love said that Mackenzie was "kicked between the legs but he pushed her to the floor and hit her another twice with the baton. He told her not to tell anyone but she phoned the police."

Sheriff Aitken was told that the woman suffered a 4cm cut to her head which had to be stapled. The boy had no serious injury.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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