A group of monks have offered to help and give a home to a criminal who was arrested for causing a disturbance at Aberdeen Railway Station and shouting racist abuse at police officers.
Joseph Grant has no permanent address and his lawyer described him as living a “roaming lifestyle” when he appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday.
The 57-year-old had been in custody since last Friday, when Scotrail staff called the police to the city’s train station because he was “acting in a drunk and disorderly manner”.
The court heard that, after being apprehended, Grant launched into an offensive tirade in front of rail passengers and asked one Irish officer: “where is your pot of gold?”
While being transported to the cells at Kittybrewster, the accused also asked that his handcuffs be removed so that he could “box” the officers.
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He later admitted a charge of acting in a threatening and abusive manner.
However, defence agent, Andrew Ormiston, persuaded Sheriff Ian Wallace not to send his client to prison when he revealed Grant had been offered help from an unlikely source.
Mr Ormiston said that monks at Pluscarden Abbey, who have looked after Grant in the past, had offered to host him once again at their idyllic retreat on the outskirts of Elgin.
He added: “My client is an individual who, for better or worse, chooses to roam.
“He has a significant record and is an individual who would benefit from support, and that has been offered by the monks at Pluscarden Abbey.
“I spoke with Father Giles there, and he made it clear that they are well aware of the accused.
“Father Giles is very sympathetic towards his plight, and has space available for him for as long as he needs it.”
Sheriff Wallace deferred sentence on Grant for three weeks, during which time he has been told to be of good behaviour.
The accused was also encouraged to find some form of permanent accommodation.