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Wick man jailed after walking out of social worker meeting

By Court Reporter

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Sheriff Andrew Berry.
Sheriff Andrew Berry.

A COURT heard how a Wick man scorned a final chance to co-operate with social workers by walking out of a meeting with one of them.

Donald McPhee was jailed for five months at the town's sheriff court this week for breaching an unpaid work order.

Sheriff Andrew Berry rejected a bold suggestion by the accused that the time he spent on remand should serve as his sentence and described his approach to the work as “truly awful”.

McPhee attended the induction session to the work but failed to carry out any of it.

The 34-year-old, of Battery Road, Wick, pleaded guilty. The unpaid work was imposed for disorderly conduct.

Sheriff Berry told McPhee on Tuesday that he had been persuaded, “against my better judgment”, to call for a second background report, in the hope that the accused would take the opportunity to co-operate, but he had failed to do so.

Solicitor Ian Houston said that McPhee had told him that the reason he had walked out of the interview with the social worker was that he was “frustrated” about what he regarded as her “negative attitude”.

The solicitor, referring to the disorderly behaviour for which McPhee had been ordered to carry out his unpaid work, stated: “He visited the fiscal’s office on more than one occasion requesting that the charge be dropped on the basis that the incident was a family matter which should not have ended up in court.”

Sheriff Berry said that that the disorderly conduct had involved an elderly lady and described McPhee’s attitude to the unpaid work order as “truly awful”.

The sheriff told him: “You say that alcohol is not a problem in your life when clearly it is a major issue.”

The jail sentence imposed was ordered to be backdated to December 9 when McPhee, who has a record, was remanded.

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