Man pleads guilty to assaulting police officer in Mallaig

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A man who assaulted a police officer while visiting Mallaig with his family has been ordered to be of good behaviour for six months after appearing at Fort William Sheriff Court on Tuesday February 26.

Daniel Stewart Hardy, 40, a self-employed plumber from Stockport, pled guilty to assaulting a PC Robert Willen at Chlachain Inn, Mallaig on Monday January 28 in that he pushed the officer on the ground, struggled violently and then attempted to hit him with his elbow.

Hardy, who plans to move to Mallaig with his family in the near future, was visiting the village to view a property. He and his wife were celebrating in the hotel the night of the incident after securing a deposit on the accommodation. The pair went to their room where they then had an argument.

Police arrived at the hotel in response to an ongoing disturbance, at which point Hardy returned to the bar area. PC Willens attempted to speak with Hardy but he was ‘clearly distressed’ and was behaving erratically, at which point the alleged assault took place.

Defence solicitor Hamish Melrose said Hardy accepts he had ‘too much to drink’ on the night of the incident.

Mr Melrose said: ‘The upshot of all this is that they have lost the accommodation. His wife’s work, which she planned to start in Mallaig, has fallen through as well.

‘They are still intent on moving to this area and are looking for a better lifestyle. Hardy was advised by the PC not to let this incident put him off living here.’

Mr Melrose told the court that Hardy suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from a previous relationship and said that his behaviour that night was ‘rather unusual’ for him.

Sheriff Eilidh MacDonald took into account that this was Hardy’s first offence and that there were particular circumstances at play in this incident. She deferred sentencing for a later date and ordered Hardy to be of good behaviour for six months.