A 22-year-old Inverness man was yesterday given a “last chance” to avoid a jail sentence for a vicious assault on another man.
Michael Stewart had been on remand after failing to turn up for a social work interview.
He was found guilty by a jury at Inverness Sheriff Court in July of assaulting Grant Booth by repeatedly punching him on his head to his injury.
The attack took place on July 18 last year in Upper Kessock Street following a dispute over a stolen or lost mobile phone.
But while awaiting sentence, Stewart then committed further assaults and another offence of threatening behaviour at a music festival.
His defence lawyer Caroline Leckie said: “He realises now that he is a person who cannot drink because he commits crimes, wakes up and then says ‘oh no, what have I done?’.
“He has been going to counselling while on remand and knows he needs help. The root of his offending is binge drinking. He is a hard worker but associates with the wrong people.”
Ordering him to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work, remain under social work supervision for two years and undergo alcohol treatment, Sheriff Margaret Neilson told Stewart of Telford Street: “It is your last chance. If you step out of line at all I will have no alternative but to impose a custodial sentence.”
Last month, Stewart was again arrested after an incident at the Groove Music Festival.
The court was told that Stewart bit the finger of a security guard after complaining that he was assaulted.
He also admitted punching a police sergeant on the head, and behaving in a threatening manner towards police officers and security staff. In addition, Sheriff Neilson fined him a total of £400 for these offences.