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Thurso man apologies to sheriff over tirade of abuse in Wick courtroom

By Court Reporter

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Sheriff Andrew Berry.
Sheriff Andrew Berry.

A young man apologised to a sheriff for subjecting him to a tirade of abuse at a previous hearing.

It happened after Liam Long's 'demand' last month that he be jailed immediately was rejected by Sheriff Andrew Berry.

After he was told that he was to be remanded, Long repeatedly insisted on the instant sentence, unleashing a tirade of abuse the sheriff described as "outrageous" and "disgraceful".

The apology was tendered when Long (25) reappeared from custody for sentence at Wick Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

His solicitor, Fiona MacDonald, apologised for her client's behaviour in the dock which, she said, was "totally unacceptable".

Long, of Moorside Avenue, Thurso, previously admitted a charge of threatening or abusive behaviour at the town's Tesco store in Millbank Road, on January 26.

The accused, who had recently been released from prison on licence, was under the influence of alcohol when he entered the store and requested cigarettes. He became annoyed when asked for proof of his identity and age and raised his fist and shouted.

Long left the store but re-entered a short time later to continue his aggressive conduct. He told store manager Linsey Matthews, who banned him from the store, that he had been in prison and suggested he was someone she should be frightened of. Ms Matthews reported the matter to the police and Long was arrested.

Sheriff Berry deplored Long's behaviour in the store and told him: "I get the impression that you think you are some sort of tough guy" and after the accused was led away to the cells, protesting, commented: "Clearly he thinks he has a reputation to be envied because he has been in prison. He is misguided if he thinks it impresses anyone, least of all me."

Wick Sheriff Court.
Wick Sheriff Court.

After tendering the apology this week, Miss MacDonald went on to say that Long had engaged with prison authorities while on remand and was finding a programme to tackle his abuse of substances beneficial.

The solicitor suggested that the accused be assessed for his suitability for a drug treatment testing order as recommended in a background report.

Sheriff Berry agreed but warned Long that he was not making any promises regarding sentencing.

Long was further remanded and will return to court on March 23 when his progress on an unpaid community work order, imposed on an unrelated offence, will be reviewed.

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