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Drunken man sat in middle of Grantown's High Street blocking traffic

By Ali Morrison

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A drunk stopped traffic by standing in the middle of the road and then attacked motorists who tried to remonstrate with him to leave.

The incident happened over half an hour in Grantown about 10pm on May 6, last year, after local man Richard Thomson of Dulaig Court had been drinking heavily.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that vehicles had to stop when Thomson began staggering down the road because they were concerned for his welfare.

Fiscal depute Shamyla Ghafar told Sheriff Lindsay Foulis that one motorist stopped to ask if Thomson was okay and he replied: "You are dead."

"Two others in a car stopped after having to swerve around him. He shouted and swore at them and accused them of trying to kill him.

"He then pushed one of them in the chest several times causing him to fall to the ground. There were no injuries."

Ms Ghafar went on to tell the court that Thomson damaged a wing mirror of a vehicle by punching it and the door.

"He started to walk towards Grantown on Spey. He had removed his belt and was swinging it around trying to hit passing vehicles and he struck one.

"Police arrived just before 10.30pm and found him in the middle of the road with traffic unable to pass him.

"As he was being arrested he struggled violently with officers and had to be restrained to the ground where he continued to struggle." Ms Ghafar added.

Defence solicitor Natalie Paterson said her client, who had previously admitted threatening behaviour, had not offended since.

She said: "There was a background of alcohol and substance abuse and he has worked very hard on this."

Ms Paterson asked the Sheriff to admonish her client as he had been of good behaviour and had taken steps to address his problems.

But Sheriff Foulis decided to fine Thomson £520.

He said: "For half an hour, he put himself in a hazardous situation. He was a menace to people who were well-meaning and was physically violent towards them.

"An admonition on his record does not indicate how serious this is."

Then the Sheriff addressed the 35 year old directly: "You know taking alcohol and illicit substances has consequences for you."

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