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Moray Courts: Pepper spray had 'little effect' on brawling defendant

By Ali Morrison

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Elgin Sheriff Court.
Elgin Sheriff Court.

A man continued to scuffle with police officers even after he was pepper sprayed in the face.

Elgin Sheriff Court heard that the spray had little effect on Scott Inglis.

Instead the 33-year-old turned to the female police officer who had just used it on him.

Inglis told her, "that was the wrong choice", then pushed her into middle of the road.

The late night altercation had begun a short time beforehand.

On December 3, 2022, two police officers attempted to talk to Inglis as he was walking along Mid Street in Keith.

However the tree surgeon, who was going back home from a local pub, refused to stop.

One of the officers grabbed his arm.

In response Inglis pushed him backwards into a wall.

The police radioed for back-up and two more officers arrived at the scene.

Procurator fiscal Karen Poke said: "The pepper spray did not seem to have much effect on the accused, but it did provide a distraction. This allowed one of the officers to leg sweep him to the ground, where they were able to apply handcuffs."

Inglis still continued to struggle though, at one point striking a male policeman in the face.

He was arrested and taken to Keith police station.

There, a knife with a two-and-a-half inch blade was found on his person.

Inglis admitted two charges of assault and spitting on one of the officers.

He also admitted possessing the knife, although the court accepted his explanation that it was for work and he'd simply forgotten to take it out of his pocket.

Inglis also admitted a further charge of assault connected to a completely different incident which took place eight months later on August 7 last year.

On that occasion Inglis was walking home with a woman at 1.30am when the pair were approached by her cousin on Piper's Lane in Keith.

This man then followed them to the property.

Ultimately, this lead to Inglis pushing him backwards over a fence, leaving him with a cut to his head that required hospital treatment.

When interviewed later at the police station, Inglis said: "I was annoyed that he'd come to my door.

"He was goading me for a long time. I lost my cool."

Defence solicitor Iain Maltman stated that the cousin had commented that the house had "nice windows".

The lawyer stated his client had taken this as an implied threat to break them.

However, Mr Maltman offered no excuses in relation to the incident with the police.

He said: "His behaviour was abominable."

Mr Maltman stated that his client was a hard-working man who had made a decision in August last year to no longer drink alcohol at all.

Sheriff David Harvie ordered Inglis to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work for the community.

He also placed him under the court's supervision for 18 months.

In addition Inglis, of Loanbank Cottages, near Keith, was fined £270 and ordered to pay £100 in compensation to the woman's cousin.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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