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Mum (86) needed hospital treatment after son (57) threw clock at her head in Inverness


By Ali Morrison

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A 57-year-old man behaved "like a petulant child" and threw a clock at his elderly mother because she poured his whisky into a bin.

Joseph Shields committed the offence just five days after he was ordered at Inverness Sheriff Court to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work. He had admitted throwing a glass chopping board and overturning a coffee table in front of the 86-year-old woman in their home in Carnarc Crescent.

Shields admitted threatening behaviour against his parent and sister when he was refused a cigarette and was sentenced on October 26, 2020.

It prompted Sheriff Sara Matheson then to tell Joseph Shields he needed to "take a long hard look at himself".

Shields appeared by video link before the sheriff and pleaded guilty to culpable and reckless conduct in the family home on October 31 last year.

Fiscal depute David Morton told the court that Shields was drunk and had been asked to carry bedding upstairs to make his mother's bed.

"He refused," he said. "He had been drinking from a bottle of whisky which had been bought by his mother, so she poured the small amount that was left into a bin.

"In a fit of rage, he threw a clock which struck his mother on the head."

Mr Morton added that Mrs Shields needed hospital treatment and her wound was glued.

It prompted Sheriff Matheson to tell Shields: "You need to get your drinking under control. This was your 86-year-old mother."

She then sentenced him to nine months in jail, backdated to November 2 when he was remanded.

Defence solicitor Neil Wilson said his client had a long-standing problem with alcohol.

He admitted his client "on one view demonstrated the behaviour of a petulant child – throwing the toy out of the pram because his mother had thrown the remainder of his whisky away.

"He threw the clock in a fit of pique. He is ashamed and so he should be."



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