A 73-year-old Ross-shire man who has never been in trouble with the law before may escape a conviction after admitting being abusive to his ex-wife.
Sheriff David Sutherland decided to defer sentence and conviction on George Morris after he spent two nights in police cells following his arrest in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Morris, of Hillpark Brae, Munlochy, was released on bail until January 31 pending a social background report which will assist Sheriff Sutherland in making his final determination.
He had pleaded guilty to placing his 66-year-old disabled wife Bridget in a state of fear and alarm by behaving in a threatening manner in her home at Wellside Close, Munlochy.
Inverness Sheriff Court was told that Morris had been drinking while on social media to his brother in Canada, who he has not seen since the age of 15.
Defence solicitor Marc Dickson said Morris was not used to drinking and that his daughter had never seen her father taking alcohol.
He added: “It could be that talking to his brother in Canada was an emotional experience for him which may explain why he reacted in this way.”
The court heard that Morris had continued to help doing daily tasks for his wife despite their divorce in 2006.
Mrs Morris had gone to bed but got up to ask her former spouse to keep the noise down.
Fiscal depute Martina Eastwood said Morris shouted insults at her, pushed her and threatened to stab her.
Mr Dickson added: “The whole family are shocked by what happened. He wants to apologise to them and his ex-wife, who only really wanted the police to get him out of the house.”