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Inverness man jailed as sheriff tells him he has 'come to the end of the road' after consistently ignoring orders of the court

By Ali Morrison

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Sheriff Gary Aitken.
Sheriff Gary Aitken.

A sheriff lost patience with an Inverness man who consistently ignored orders of the court, jailing him for six months.

John McPhee, of Carnarc Crescent and also of Diriebught Court, appeared by video link after being remanded in custody for breaches of bail conditions and a curfew in September and October.

McPhee (22) also failed to comply with a community payback order (CPO) and a restriction of liberty order (ROLO) imposed for incidents in Inverness in 2019.

Fiscal depute Ruraidh Allison told Sheriff Gary Aitken that McPhee was seen outside Lauder’s Bar, in Church Street, on January 25 two years ago attempting to goad patrons to fight with him.

“He was told to go home as he was too intoxicated to be served more alcohol,” he said.

Mr Allison added that a police officer who arrived gave him similar advice, but he tried to get into the bar again and was removed by police.

However, the court heard McPhee tried to get into another city centre bar and had to be removed. He was arrested but he struggled with officers, tried to free himself and attempted to head butt one of them.

“He was put to the floor and continued to lash out and leg restraints had to be applied,” Mr Allison said.

McPhee had previously admitted resisting arrest.

The prosecutor then told the court about an incident in Southside Road, Inverness on May 25, 2019 when a motorist was picking up his girlfriend.

“McPhee approached the vehicle and an argument ensued,” he said. “He began punching and kicking the vehicle and when the driver opened the windows, he punched him.

“The driver sustained a black eye and scratches.”

McPhee had also previously pleaded guilty to assault and wilful damage to the car.

Defence solicitor Rory Gowans said: “When sober, he is a likeable young man. But when he has alcohol he has an inability to control himself.

“At the time of these offences, he went off the rails after a relationship breakdown and sought solace in alcohol. He would drink himself into oblivion.

“But being remanded in custody has been a wake-up call and he does not want to repeat that.”

Mr Gowans asked that his client be given “another” last chance but the request was denied by Sheriff Aitken.

He told McPhee: “I sincerely hope the penny has dropped. You have come to the end of the road. Due to the number of cases, your entirely unacceptable attitude to the CPO and ROLO which you have breached more than once, the merry-go-round has stopped.

“There is no alternative to a custodial sentence. You can’t access alcohol in prison and you should come out sober.”

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