Alness man who assaulted police and threatened partner leaves sheriff 'disgusted' but avoids jail
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A Ross-shire man with a record for domestic violence narrowly escaped a jail sentence yesterday.
John McGeown, who had five previous convictions for domestic abuse, was told by Sheriff Sara Matheson: "You will never be closer to going to jail than you are now."
Instead, she imposed 200 hours of unpaid work on the father of three, and ordered him to take part in domestic abuse and alcohol treatment programmes.
He will also be under social work supervision for the next two years.
The Sheriff was persuaded to give the 41-year-old a chance to prove that he was changing his attitude after a plea by defence solicitor John MacColl.
He quoted from a social work report which indicated that McGeown was prepared to change.
He added: "My client knows that a custodial sentence will be uppermost in the court's mind. But he is a full time carer for his mother and is concerned about her if he is sent to prison.
"He is willing to participate in any programmes the court decides to instruct."
The Sheriff at Inverness Sheriff Court warned McGeown: "If you don't comply with this order to the letter, you will go to jail."
She added that she was disgusted by his behaviour after fiscal depute Martina Eastwood presented the facts.
McGeown admitted two charges of police assault and threatening behaviour towards his partner in their Coulpark home in Alness on April 24.
Ms Eastwood said: "She returned home from shopping to find him drinking with a friend.
"There was an argument and he was abusive towards her. She tried to escape down the stairs and police were called.
"He was found in the loft and officers managed to arrest him. But he attempted to head-butt one and hit out at another.
"His partner was very distressed." Ms Eastwood added.
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