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Prisoner back behind bars after grandmother calls police to remove drunk grandson

By Court Reporter

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A Sutherland man who was released early from a 20-month prison sentence for robbing a Wick filling station shop at knifepoint is back in custody after two incidents at the weekend.

John Cowie, now aged 24, was arrested by police at his 74-year-old grandmother's house in Helmsdale after she called the police to remove her very drunk grandson, Inverness Sheriff Court was told on Monday.

Cowie, who has no fixed address but had previously lived at Calder Crescent, Embo, was jailed in October last year and Sheriff Robert Frazer was told he had an unexpired portion of his sentence to complete.

Fiscal depute Robert Weir told the court that on Sunday Cowie had been "consuming large quantities of alcohol during the day at his grandmother's house and she asked the police to have him removed".

When the police arrived, Mr Weir said Cowie began shouting and swearing at officers, including making threats.

"He said, 'if I had a gun or a knife you would be dead'." Mr Weir added.

The prosecutor said Cowie made racist and other offensive remarks to police and shouted and swore at his grandmother.

Cowie admitted two charges of threatening or abusive behaviour.

His defence solicitor Patrick O'Dea said: "He was released in July and since then has developed a problem with alcohol. He does not want bail, he wants help. In addition, he has a long-standing difficulty with his mental health."

The solicitor asked that sentence be deferred for a background report to which Sheriff Frazer reluctantly agreed, as Cowie could be sentenced immediately, given his age and previous jail sentence.

Cowie was remanded in custody until November 1.

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