A Shetland man who “completely misread the situation” in a busy pub and grabbed a woman over her clothing before shouting and swearing at her friends has been fined £500.
Gary McNally, 27, of Norrendal, Whalsay, admitted assaulting the woman by grabbing hold of her at the Thule Bar on January 17 this year.
He also pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting, swearing and making threats at the woman’s friends, including her boyfriend.
At Lerwick Sheriff Court, fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said McNally had been drunk at the time and “completely misread the situation” after speaking to the woman.
She was “extremely upset” and distressed by what happened, the fiscal said, but in fairness to McNally the sexual element of the offence was “not significant”.
Defence agent Tommy Allan said McNally, who works as a diver, had split up with his girlfriend and subsequently gone out and had “far too much to drink”.
Mr Allan’s client accepted he had badly misread the signals, but “certainly did not mean to carry out any sexual assault”, and he wished to apologise to the woman and her partner for any upset he had caused.
Sheriff Philip Mann told McNally that behaving in such a manner was “a very risky business” and illustrated why everyone has to be “so careful when engaging in flirtation”.
He fined McNally £300 for assaulting the woman and £200 for behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.