A young Highland League footballer who slipped an ecstasy tablet into a schoolgirl’s mouth as he kissed her avoided a jail sentence yesterday.
Stefan Macritchie, who is currently suspended from Strathspey Thistle and previously played for Inverness Clachnacuddin and Fort William, committed the offence while at a New Year party in Inverness.
Yesterday, the 20-year-old of Lawers Way, Inverness, was sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work after his defence claimed the girl had other drugs in her system.
The victim’s mother was furious at the sentence, saying: “We are shocked to be honest, we were expecting a custodial sentence.
“There was a 50/50 chance that our daughter might not have made it.
“What more does he have to do to get jail? Our daughter nearly died, does he actually need to take a life?”
Sentencing MacRitchie to 200 hours of unpaid community work as an alternative to imprisonment and social work supervision for 18 months, Sheriff Fleetwood said: “This is an offence which could attract a custodial sentence but I can deal with it by a community based disposal because there is an alternative open to me.”
MacRitchie pleaded guilty to a single charge of supplying the class A drug at an address in the city on January 1, 2014.
Defence agent Mike Chapman added: “This was an impulsive offence carried out while he was under the influence of alcohol and ecstasy at the time.
“He accepts responsibility and does not place blame on the victim. When she was taken to Raigmore Hospital she told staff she had been snorting white powder at the party.
“He did not mean to cause her harm and no longer abuses illegal substances.”
Fiscal depute Michelle Molley told the court that the incident happened at the home address of a friend of the victim.
Ms Molley added: “The complainer asked the accused what he had put into her mouth and he replied ‘eccies’ which she perceived to be the controlled drug commonly known as ecstasy.
“She terminated the contact and immediately proceeded to the toilet.”
MacRichie left the party soon after the incident.
MacRitchie recently signed for Strathspey Thistle, but has yet to play for the Grantown club, as he was suspended after his initial court appearance.
A spokesman for the club confirmed the suspension remains in place and MacRitchie’s future with the team will decided in the next few weeks.