A sheriff has branded a young man’s abuse of travelling people as “utterly disgraceful “.
Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist underlined his concern at the behaviour of Jamie Sutherland who swore and used abusive language to describe a group traveller people at their encampment near Thurso by imposing a stiff fine of £600.
Quarry worker Sutherland, 21, was one of a moped gang which paid the travellers a visit at their site on an industrial estate, at Janetstown, on September 12, Wick Sheriff Court heard yesterday.
They targeted a caravan containing a 38-year-old Bella Stewart and her four children.
Fiscal depute David Barclay said: “She was very concerned at what appeared to be a dislike of her family’s travelling background as well as it being used as a form of abuse.
“She perceived it as a dislike of travelling folk and felt intimidated by it and used her mobile phone to report the matter to the police.”
The fiscal added that there was a threat that Sutherland and his companions might return and repeat the “wholly unacceptable” abuse.
When seen by officers, Sutherland admitted responsibility but claimed that others were involved.
“He accepted that what he had done was foolish” added the fiscal.
The court was told that Sutherland, of 1 Bishop Court, Halkirk, who admitted racially aggravated conduct, was currently carrying out unpaid work for a separate, unrelated offence.