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Dingwall man who fell out with friend in city centre gets 'one chance' from sheriff despite grim prison record after positive social work report


By Ali Morrison

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Sheriff Sara Matheson: 'The social worker does not write you off and neither do I. You should put your intelligence to good use but this will be your one chance.'
Sheriff Sara Matheson: 'The social worker does not write you off and neither do I. You should put your intelligence to good use but this will be your one chance.'

A fall-out between friends resulted in an Inverness city centre chase and threats being made by one pal.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that victim John Muir ran into the Co-op in Church Street on May 5, 2020 to seek refuge from 47-year-old John Mackay, of Dingwall.

Mackay kept shouting and swearing at Mr Muir who was on the phone to police while staff at the supermarket prevented Mackay from entering.

Police were quickly on the scene and arrested Mackay before later obtaining CCTV footage of the incident, the court was told.

Mackay had previously admitted threatening or abusive behaviour.

He also admitted twice breaching an undertaking that he would not contact Mr Muir and was remanded in custody on May 20 this year.

Defence solicitor Marc Dickson said his client had served 34 prison sentences in the past 13 years and was now at an age where he had to decide to continue offending and serve long and longer periods in jail.

"He grew up with the complainer and they spent time together in homeless accommodation and in prison. He found the Covid lockdown difficult and felt isolated.

"There was some friction which developed between them but why has been lost in the mists of time but it gave rise to the way he behaved," Mr Dickson added.

After reading a positive social work report, which Sheriff Sara Matheson praised for its detail, Mackay of Castle Street, Dingwall was placed under supervision for two years.

The sheriff told him: "The social worker does not write you off and neither do I. You should put your intelligence to good use but this will be your one chance."

She ordered a review after three months to check on Mackay's progress.


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