An ungrateful lodger throttled the friend he was renting a room from and broke her wrist after she rescued him from homelessness.
Andrew Shepherd, 42, pled guilty to assaulting his former landlord by grabbing her around the neck and restricting her breathing.
Following an argument with the woman, who was 45 years old at the time, Shepherd shoved her onto the ground – fracturing her wrist.
His solicitor described the incident as “out of character” for his client but the court was told that Shepherd has previous criminal convictions for assault.
Shepherd, who appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court via video link from HMP Grampian, was jailed in July last year, after sneaking into a Scottish Water plant and releasing three million litres of raw, untreated sewage into the North Sea.
‘Without warning, he grabbed her by the neck’
Fiscal depute Ellen Barr told the court that Shepherd and the woman had met through friends.
He had visited her home on Froghall Road, Aberdeen, and they enjoyed each other’s company, Ms Barr said.
She stated that, when Shepherd became homeless in April of this year, he asked if he could rent a room in the woman’s house, to which she agreed.
“They lived in harmony for a time as friends,” Ms Barr said, explaining: “But, during the morning of April 14 this year, there was a verbal argument between them and the accused became aggressive.
“The accused was at the complainer’s bedroom doorway when, without warning, he grabbed her by the neck and used his fingers to squeeze her throat for a short time.
“She didn’t lose consciousness but found it difficult to breathe before the accused let go of her neck and pushed her with force, causing her to fall to the floor.”
Victim suffered red marks to her face, neck and wrist
As she was falling, the woman put out her right hand to stop herself from striking a wall.
Then she felt pain in her wrist as her hand struck a hard surface, the court heard.
The victim called a friend who came over and witnessed Shepherd being “hostile” while her friend had red marks on her face, neck and wrist.
Shepherd spent the night in the house but was asked to leave the following morning, which he did while claiming he was “remorseful” for his actions.
At Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, the woman was assessed and found to have a fractured wrist that required a plaster cast for six weeks.
Appearing via video, Shepherd pled guilty to one charge of assault.
‘He wants to put this chapter of his life behind him’
Shepherd’s defence solicitor Alex Burn told the court that the pair had been drinking on the day of the violent disturbance and taking the woman’s prescription medication.
“He realises that he acted in the way described and he apologises for that,” Mr Burn said.
“Mr Shepherd certainly never intended for it to happen or for her to be in that way.
“This is to a large extent out of character for him and he just wants to put this chapter of his life behind him and move on.”
Sheriff Andrew Miller told Shepherd: “Even though your position is that that you didn’t intend to cause these injuries to this woman, they were as a result of the assault you carried out on her”.
Taking into account Shepherd’s previous violent offending, Sheriff Miller jailed him for 12 months – backdated to May 26 this year.
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