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Garmouth man escapes jail sentence over 'lost jacket' rampage in Grantown

By Ali Morrison

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A 31-YEAR-OLD hotel worker from Garmouth attacked several people after losing his jacket in Grantown's Royal British Legion.

Brett Sinclair, whose address was given as staff quarters, Woodend Terrace, had "a striking loss of control", according to defence lawyer Matthew O'Neill, after a day's drinking in the village on November 1, 2019.

Sentence had been deferred in February this year because Sinclair had outstanding unpaid work imposed for an earlier offence.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told today that Sinclair had completed it successfully, which left Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald with the choice of more community work or jail.

After hearing the facts from fiscal depute David Morton and reading a background report, the sheriff decided to order the maximum 300 hours as an alternative to custody.

But she said that if he did not complete them, he would go to jail.

Sinclair, whose residential address was given as Station Road, Garmouth, had previously admitted a series of offences, including one of threatening behaviour, three of assault, one of resisting arrest and one of police assault.

They were committed outside the premises with the assault on a police custody officer being committed in Burnett Road Police Station, in Inverness.

The court was told that Sinclair was under the influence of alcohol when he left the Legion. He became aggressive with a number of people gathered outside and swung his fist, striking a woman on the nose.

Mr Morton said: "He was shouting and swearing and although people tried to calm him down, he continued in an aggressive manner. He head-butted one man who told him to calm down and then head-butted a woman and punched her on the face.

"He then began head-butting the glass door. Police were called and he head-butted one constable and kicked another. As he was being led to the police van, he was shouting and swearing and kicked the vehicle. He had to be placed in leg restraints.

"He was taken to Inverness where a custody officer assisted the officers in taking him into the station. Sinclair swung his leg back and kicked him in the groin. He was in severe pain and suffered swelling."

Mr O'Neill told the sheriff that he accepted a custodial sentence would be the primary option for the court.

But he successfully persuaded the sheriff to steer away from a jail sentence.

He said: "This was a striking loss of control and he is deeply ashamed of his actions. He believed his jacket was lost and this led to a disagreement at the premises then spiralled from there.

"He is back in full-time employment after being on furlough when this was committed after drinking throughout the day."

Sheriff Macdonald told Sinclair: "This was appalling behaviour towards people who did not deserve it."

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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