Stress of Covid lockdown led to actions, court told

Campbeltown Sheriff Court.

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The stress of furlough, redundancy, going onto Universal Credit and trying to find work in the hospitality sector led to a 33-year-old man smashing up his now former partner’s home and vandalising a car.

Sheriff Patrick Hughes told Robert Sutherland that what worried him about the offences was that they came ‘out of a blue sky’ in his ‘otherwise good character’.

Sutherland, now of Drumlea Cottage, Tangy, appeared before Campbeltown Sheriff Court last week, and admitted two offences which took place in the town overnight between December 4 and 5 last year.

The first incident took place in his partner’s home, where he destroyed or damaged household goods, and struck internal walls so hard they were holed.

The second was on Burnside Street where he repeatedly struck the bodywork of a parked car and poured bleach over the vehicle, causing damage which cost £1,638 to repair.

Sheriff Hughes had called for a report at an earlier hearing.

Sutherland’s defence agent, Stephen MacSporran, said the man was ‘contrite and apologised for his conduct and was thoroughly ashamed’.

‘He is looking for work in the hospitality sector,’ he said, adding that the events could be attributed to alcohol and the stress of furlough, redundancy and being on Universal Credit.

Sheriff Hughes placed Sutherland on a 12-month community payback order where he must work with a social worker on the cause of his behaviour and make sure it is not repeated.

He also ordered that Sutherland pay the repair bill for the car and and made him the subject of a 12-month non-harassment order with his former partner with no contact other than that for the care of their child and he must not enter her home without prior agreement.