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Reprieve for Forres man who kicked officer in face

By Court Reporter

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A 33-YEAR-OLD Inverness man now living in Forres was given the chance to avoid a prison sentence if he is deemed suitable for a drug treatment and testing order.

Inverness remand prisoner Blair Cotter appeared for sentence before Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald after previously admitting charges of kicking a police officer in the face and culpable and reckless conduct by spitting at a police officer, thus exposing him to the risk of Covid.

Sheriff Macdonald decided to release Cotter, now of Twinning Link, Forres, on bail so the work could be done.

However, the sheriff warned Cotter that a prison sentence was still a possibility.

The sheriff told him: "These are serious offences and I could easily send you to prison today for a significant period.

"But you have spent the equivalent of 10 months on remand and you would be released shortly into the community without any help or intervention. So I am prepared to defer sentence for an assessment to be done."

The sheriff released Cotter on bail but imposed a 7am-7pm curfew on him. He will re-appear at Inverness Sheriff Court on January 31 to learn his fate.

The court was previously told that two constables required assistance from another two to get Cotter under control in Church Street, Inverness, on July 5 this year.

Fiscal depute Martina Eastwood said police had been called to a disturbance outside MacCallum's Bar, in Union Street, about 9pm.

The officers were given Cotter's name and went to look for him, before locating him in Church Street, Mrs Eastwood added.

"He walked away and was asked to stop several times before he eventually did outside Lauder's Bar.

"He refused to co-operate and was taken to the ground. The officers required assistance and two others were quickly on the scene. But he rolled partially on to his back and kicked one in the face. Leg restraints had to be applied to stop him lashing out," the prosecutor said.

Cotter was taken to Burnett Road Police Station where he spat several times at a custody officer but no contact was made, Sheriff Macdonald heard.

Defence solicitor John MacColl said: "He had had a couple of pints but was not inebriated or under the influence of drugs. However, he was disinhibited to a degree.

"Police wanted to speak to him on another matter for which he was not ultimately charged and he became non-compliant. In the police cell, there was a degree of difficulty between him and officers which resulted in some of his clothing having to be cut off.

"He is gutted he has found himself in trouble as there has been a significant gap in his offending.

"He has gone back to abusing opiates and other drugs and would like help to deal with that because he believes it is what leads to his offending."

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