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A man who threatened to throw a dog on a fire during a drunken row has six months to prove he can behave – or face time behind bars.
Ronald Hector MacLennan, of The Summit, Glencruitten, appeared before Oban Sheriff Court facing two charges linked to an incident at a house in Seil.
The court heard how police were called by a neighbour who heard shouting and a woman’s upset yells of ‘Nos’ and ‘Ows’ coming from the house on the night of January 21 this year.
MacLennan, 36, and the woman inside the house had both been drinking heavily that day but in court last Wednesday neither could recall what had started the row, which at one point involved the woman being locked outside, half-dressed.
Previously of good character, MacLennan pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening and abusive manner likely to cause fear and alarm in that he had acted in an aggressive and intimidating way.
He pleaded not guilty to a second charge of assaulting the woman, seizing her body and attempting to remove a ring from her finger.
MacLennan said the cries of ‘Ow’ heard by the neighbour were self-inflicted by the woman running into a shut door to try to force her way into the living room, where he had a dog and was threatening to burn it.
During the trial, procurator fiscal Eoin McGinty asked MacLennan if he had asked the woman to stick to a script in court. He said no.
When the woman was asked during cross-examination if she had told police the truth in her statement taken that night, she agreed she had done so to the best of her ability but also told the court: ‘I think I was being over dramatic in the cold light of sober day.
‘I thought Ronald would have just had a telling off and that would be it,’ she said.
Sheriff Patrick Hughes found MacLennan guilty of the assault charge and deferred sentencing until Tuesday October 9.
He warned the defendant he would be monitored over the next six months. ‘If you come back here in six months with good behaviour there will be a fine. If not, you will face custody,’ he said.
Defence solicitor Kevin McGinness said his client was ashamed of his behaviour and that his remorse was ‘genuine and sincere’. He also said alcohol had played a major part in the ‘unpleasant episode.’