A social worker was forced to flee her home in fear and take refuge in a hotel after a yob threatened to murder her.
Kyle Swannie made the vile threat in a furious phone call to the woman’s colleague, during which he labelled her a “rat” and warned he would slit her throat.
The 25-year-old told the woman’s colleague that he knew where they both lived, and that her handling of his case was “going to cause a murder”.
His threats were taken so seriously that the social worker was advised to spend a night in a hotel for her own safety until Swannie was apprehended.
‘No justification’ for threats
Fiscal depute Duncan Mackenzie told Lerwick Sheriff Court Swannie’s outburst occurred after discussing a family-related matter with the social worker.
After the woman had two missed calls on her phone, Swannie phoned her colleague at her home address and described the woman as a “rat”, threatening to slit her throat.
The court heard Swannie also claimed her handling of the case was “going to cause a murder” and he was “going to do time for this”.
Mackenzie said the threats were taken very seriously – to the extent that the social worker was advised to spend a night in a hotel for her own safety until Swannie was apprehended.
Little more to threats ‘than meets the eye’
Swannie, of Hoofields, Lerwick, pled guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting, swearing, intimating that he knew where both care workers lived, threatening to attend her residence and to murder the woman’s colleague.
Defence agent Tommy Allan said there was “absolutely no justification” for his client’s behaviour towards professionals who do a difficult job very well.
He said his client made threats that “cannot be condoned” and “must be taken very seriously”, but that there was “a little more to it than meets the eye”.
The solicitor said Swannie had an unfortunate propensity for outbursts and threats of violence, but had attempted to apologise personally on three separate occasions.
Swannie is receiving mental health support and is also making efforts to deal with anger management issues, Allan added.
Sheriff Ian Cruickshank adjourned the matter for a criminal justice social work report to be prepared and continued Swannie’s bail until his next appearance on February 2.