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Wick man jailed for street assault with piece of wood

By Court Reporter

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A WICK man who wielded a piece of wood in a street assault has been jailed for eight months.

Steven Bruce was also ordered to carry out 75 hours of unpaid community work for possession of a knuckle-duster.

Bruce (44) pleaded guilty on both counts, previously, and admitted a record.

He fell out with John-Levi Hind in Glamis Road, Wick, on September 28, Wick Sheriff Court heard last week.

Fiscal David Barclay said it wasn’t clear who said or did what, but the incident ended with Mr Hind being punched by the accused, who then struck him with the piece of wood.

Three days earlier, Bruce, of Waverley Road, Wick, was taken to the local police station in connection with another, unrelated matter – no longer before the court – and was found to have a knuckle-duster when searched by officers.

Solicitor Patrick O’Dea said that Bruce’s lifestyle had been “somewhat chaotic”.

While on remand pending sentence, the accused had engaged with a mental health team and was taking his medication.

Mr O’Dea said: “He is a lot better than when he went into prison.”

Appealing for a non-custodial sentence, the solicitor said that the accused had an offer to resume employment with a firm he had worked for previously.

The job was “a dangerous one” involving abseiling down the side of an oil rig and the solicitor added: “Bruce has reached a crossroads in his life."

However, Sheriff Andrew Berry wasn’t convinced and charted the accused record in recent years with convictions for assault to severe injury, bail breaches, and had an allegation of fire-raising pending.

The sheriff, who saw a background report, told Bruce: “You were in possession of a knuckle-duster which only has one use and three days later you assault someone with a piece of wood.”

The prison sentence is backdated to October 7 when Bruce was remanded.

The unpaid work imposed on the knuckle-duster charge will be accompanied by a supervision order.

Bruce will commence the work after he completes his prison sentence.

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