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Drunk jailed for threatening boys who refused to sell handbag

By Alistair Whitfield

Elgin Sheriff Court
Elgin Sheriff Court

A DRUNK has been jailed for 399 days after he threatened three teenage boys who refused to sell him a handbag at a discount.

James Shewan was carrying a can of cider when he walked into a pop-up shop on Forres High Street during the afternoon of Wednesday last week.

The 36-year-old first swore at two customers and told them to get out.

Shewan then turned his attention to the 16-year-old shop assistant and his two 13-year-old friends.

Elgin Sheriff Court heard that Shewan offered to give them alcohol if they gave him a discount on the handbag.

The shop assistant, who had a nose ring, refused.

Referring to this, Shewan said: "If I were you I would take that out in case you get punched in the face."

The frightened teenager promised that he would once he got home.

Shewan replied: "If I see you wearing it again I will split your face and rip it out of your nose."

Shewan then left the shop, leaving his bag and cider behind.

The boys attempted to lock the door but he returned before they could.

Back inside the shop Shewan went up to one of the 13-year-olds.

Standing right in his face, he whispered: "I think you had better look after these boys or I will have to."

Before leaving, he then approached the other 13-year-old and raised his fist towards the boy's head.

The teenagers called the police and an arrest was made on Forres High Street soon afterwards.

Shewen threatened three times to shoot the officers during the ride to Elgin Police Station.

The court was also told this afternoon of other other offences admitted by Shewan.

On April 8 he shoplifted a can of cider from a shop.

On May 29 he was arrested for not declaring a new bank card to the police – in contradiction to a previous court order.

Then, on July 19, he was arrested for breach of the peace after being refused entry to both pubs in Findhorn.

The police were called after Shewan began flagging down passing motorists and demanding a lift back to his home in Tailwell, Forres.

Officers described his behaviour after his arrest as "intimidating and aggressive".

Amongst other things during the journey to the station he repeated the phrase "welcome to hell".

Defence solicitor Stephen Carty asked the court to give his client one final chance to overcome alcohol.

Mr Carty said: "He has very little memory of much of what he's done. He'd like to apologise to everyone – especially the boys.

"He's not a young man any more. He's finally realised that if he doesn't stop drinking he will just continue getting into trouble.

"He will spend his life in and out of Inverness Prison. Or alcohol will kill him."

However, passing sentence, Sheriff Dickson told Shewan: "You know yourself, given the seriousness of these offences and your past record that prison is the only option."

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