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Prison warning for man who threatened ex partner

By Court Reporter

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A MAN who threatened his former partner and tried to frighten a witness has claimed she was partly to blame for his actions.

This was revealed by Sheriff Andrew Berry after he considered a background report on Mark Falconer, who could be facing a jail sentence.

Falconer (34) previously admitted having behaved in a threatening or abusive manner towards Nicola Swanson and attempting to pervert the course of justice. He will be sentenced next month.

The court was told that Ms Swanson, who lives in Wick, had called on Falconer at his home, The Forge, Reiss, on October 14 last year in connection with a family arrangement.

Sheriff Andrew Berry.
Sheriff Andrew Berry.

In the ensuing incident outside his house, Falconer was recorded by CCTV advancing on Ms Swanson. She fell backward and the accused was observed leaning over her with a clenched fist and then threatening her.

In an earlier incident, on May 7, Falconer drove his car at store worker Mark MacDougall – who was due to give evidence against Falconer – after he left the Tesco supermarket in Wick and was walking towards his parked vehicle.

Mr MacDougall happened to glance to his left and saw the accused driving slowly towards him. The store worker was frightened when he heard Falconer's car being revved excessively as it accelerated harshly towards him and then swerve sharply past him.

Sheriff Berry said that Falconer appeared to see himself as the victim in the case – "as many accused persons do" – in the incident outside The Forge, or was partly to blame, which CCTV at the scene had clearly shown not to be the case.

The sheriff said that Falconer had also claimed that Ms Swanson was partly at fault for the incident at the Tesco car park and described that allegation as "bizarre".

Sheriff Berry referred to the Caledonian Programme which addresses specific aspects of accused persons involved in domestic offences and expressed the hope that it would "shake" the misconceptions out of Falconer.

The case was deferred until March 24 for an assessment to establish Falconer's suitability for participation in the programme – but Sheriff Berry warned: "Given the combination of the two charges, I have to have prison in my mind."

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