Wick man who brandished hammer was 'breaking rocks for his ferret'
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A Wick man resented being taken to task by a train driver for being near the railway line, the town's sheriff court heard.
Scott Shearer (19) brandished a claw hammer at the driver.
Shearer, of Hospital Road, Wick, admitted having behaved in a threatening or abusive manner and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work while under supervision.
The court was told that the train driver observed two or three people at the side of the railway tracks as he was approaching Wick after a journey from Inverness on April 5.
David Barclay said that the train was stopped and the trio were told they should not be near the railway line and to move away.
The fiscal said that the trio replied that they did not consider they were on the tracks and continued: "Shearer became annoyed at the
repeated requests to move and being told that they had no business being there."
Mr Barclay said the accused produced a hammer and brandished it at the driver, adding: "The passenger train was held up for a considerable time when all this was going on."
The police were contacted and Shearer told them he had been using the hammer to "break rocks for his ferrets".
Solicitor Peter Malone described that explanation as "quite simply unusual" and Sheriff Neil Wilson described it as "a nonsensical explanation".
The claw hammer was not recovered.