A man has been ordered to pay compensation after he donned a mask and smashed up his neighbour’s Ring doorbell with a hammer.
Paul Fairley appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted emerging masked from his house and taking a hammer to the woman’s doorbell camera.
When police arrived, Fairley, 51, punched one officer in his private parts.
Fairley – who had drunk one-and-a-half bottles of vodka at the time – then kicked another constable as he tried to put him in the back of a police vehicle.
Woman heard loud bang
Fiscal depute Kirsty Martin told the court that at around 4pm on August 24 last year Fairley’s neighbour returned to her home, shortly after hearing a loud bang.
She activated her Ring doorbell and looked towards Fairley’s property – which was directly across from her own – where she saw him kicking his own front door before going inside.
He re-emerged soon after wearing a facemask and was carrying an item behind his back.
“The complainer watched as the accused approached and pulled a hammer from behind his back and struck her Ring doorbell with the hammer,” Ms Martin said.
“He then returned to his home address.”
The neighbour contacted police who initially had issues making contact with Fairley, despite her advising them that he had not left his home since the incident.
They knocked repeatedly and Fairley finally answered the door, whereby officers located the hammer and a purple facemask inside his property.
Fairley tried to take a drink of alcohol prior to his arrest and when officers stopped him he became immediately aggressive, punching one constable in the genital area.
As a second officer restrained Fairley and led him to a police van he kicked him in the thigh.
Upon being placed in the back of the vehicle, Fairley shouted: “I’ll throw myself through the window.”
The cost to replace the Ring doorbell camera was £70.
In the dock, Fairley pleaded guilty to one charge of wilfully or recklessly damaging property and two charges of assault.
‘No place’ for police assaults, sheriff says
Defence solicitor Emily Bruce told the court that her client had suffered a series of family bereavements and had been drinking alcohol on that day.
“Mr Fairley tells me that he was drinking one and a half bottles of alcohol at that stage and it had a very serious impact on his mental health,” she said.
“He has since taken account of his alcohol intake and he is currently getting help for that.”
Sheriff Gordon Lamont told Fairley that there is “no place for assaulting police officers, which can quickly result in a custodial sentence”.
He added: “The hitting of the Ring doorbell with a hammer must also have been something that gave the owner of that property concern.
“I’m persuaded that there is an alternative to a custodial sentence – but not by much.”
Sheriff Lamont made Fairley, of Ruthrieston Crescent, Aberdeen, subject to a community payback order with supervision for 12 months and ordered him to carry out 130 hours of unpaid work.
He also ordered Fairley to pay the woman £300 in compensation.
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