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Dingwall man who tried to bite police officer is held in custody by Highland sheriff


By Ali Morrison

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Sheriff Gary Aitken told Shepherd's defence agent: 'If this was two years ago, the guidelines then were an 18-month jail sentence.'
Sheriff Gary Aitken told Shepherd's defence agent: 'If this was two years ago, the guidelines then were an 18-month jail sentence.'

A 25-year-old Ross-shire man who has already completed almost 450 hours of unpaid community work in the past 12 months for various offences was told by a sheriff to stop offending.

Steven Shepherd of Old River Road, Dingwall appeared before Sheriff Gary Aitken to admit assaulting a constable by butting him on the head, spitting at him and attempting to bite him.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told that after he had been arrested on December 29, 2023 at Ord Terrace in Strathpeffer, Shepherd then behaved in a threatening or abusive manner towards the officers.

He admitted shouting, swearing and challenging the police to fight at the location, on the journey to Burnett Road Police Station in Inverness and at the police office.

Shepherd also used homophobic and discriminatory language against them.

Defence solicitor Rory Gowans told the court that his client was on a number of community payback orders and a background report would be required.

He added that his client was also awaiting sentence on indictment for another offence involving violence..

Mr Gowans went on: "He has completed 444 hours of unpaid work in the last year and has only six hours left to do. He attended regularly, has had no breaches and does the work well.

"Alcohol is the source of his difficulties and the first words out of his mouth to me was that he wants to stop drinking. I appreciate his record is not impressive, but he is currently unwell and may need hospital treatment so I am applying for bail."

But Sheriff Aitken said that the hospital facilities in prison were "very good" and added: "He shouldn't be completing 444 hours of work in a year if he stopped offending."

He also criticised Shepherd for spitting at the officer. "If this was two years ago, the guidelines then were an 18-month jail sentence."

The sheriff deferred sentence for the background report to coincide with Shepherd's indictment appearance on January 15 and remanded him in custody until then.


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