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'Rock bottom' Muir of Ord technician reacted to work stress and marriage tensions, Highland court told

By Ali Morrison

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An electricity company technician was under stress on returning from a 97-hour week and briefly turned to alcohol as his marriage was also in trouble.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that 56-year-old Paul Murray of Burns Avenue, Muir of Ord had gone into his shed on the night of October 22, 2023 and sent his wife a message from there, relating to their possible break-up.

Sheriff Gary Aitken heard that on Murray's return into the house, the text started an argument within the family and he threw items around in the kitchen, including a cup of tea and a tin of beer.

Fiscal depute Adele Gray said: "The can struck his 23-year-old son on the head. Police were called and found the accused sitting in the kitchen drinking from a three-quarter full open bottle of whisky."

Sheriff Aitken expressed concern to defence solicitor Rory Gowans that there may be a problem for his client with alcohol.

Mr Gowan reassured him saying: "Alcohol is not an issue. This was as a result of coming home from a 97-hour working week and a difficulty with tensions in their marriage.

"But it is resolved, the couple are back together, and now closer than ever. He was at rock bottom and this was an isolated incident," Mr Gowans added.

Murray admitted culpably and recklessly throwing items around and threatening and abusive behaviour.

Sheriff Aitken fined Murray a total of £790.

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