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No second chance for teenager after Inverness and Dingwall incidents

By Ali Morrison

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Inverness Sheriff Court.
Inverness Sheriff Court.

A teenager's year-long crime spree came to an end at the beginning of May when he breached a bail curfew and was remanded in custody.

Connor Stewart, who previously lived in Dingwall and Inverness, but was now of no fixed abode, began his string of offending on May 30, 2023 at Inverness's Morrison's supermarket.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that the 19 year old was intoxicated and stumbling around in the store hen he was approached by a staff member whom he punched on the head and attempted to kick before fleeing into Millburn Road.

Court news

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Arrested and placed in a police vehicle, during the journey he spat on a constable's arm, fiscal depute Shamilah Ghafar told Sheriff Robert Frazer.

A week later, on June 7, Stewart, while acting with a juvenile, stole a cash box from the Kingsmills Hotel, before damaging the door of a cafe in the city’s Crown Avenueby repeatedly kicking and striking it.

On January 9 this year he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner and made offensive remarks to police who had been called to another incident in Tulloch Square, Dingwall.

The court heard that Stewart was playing loud music in his flat and appeared at his window while police were dealing with an emergency nearby and acted in a racially aggravated manner towards them.

He was asked to desist but refused and continued his behaviour, Ms Ghafar added.

Stewart previously pleaded guilty to all the offences and sentence was deferred for a background report.

Defence solicitor John MacColl said his client would be homeless on his release and came from a broken home, although his mother and father were still supportive of him.

"The recurring theme here is alcohol misuse and to a degree drug misuse,” he said. “But there is genuine remorse in the report and he told the social worker that it is not who he really is.

"He has said to me that he is looking at life differently and says he need to get a job.

"He told me that he realises that there is more to life 'than sitting around with a bunch of dafties taking drink and drugs.'

"This shows to me a significant degree of maturity."

Mr MacColl suggested a community payback order as a possible disposal, but Sheriff Frazer decided to send Stewart to detention for nine months, having read the report which indicated the teenager was already on a community payback order.

He told him: "You have been given the opportunity of a community based disposal and failed to take advantage.

"You were ordered to do unpaid hours and you did none of them."

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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