Oban man punched TVs in drunken row

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A man repeatedly punched two televisions during a drunken row and headbutted a police van following his arrest, a court heard.

Craig MacIvor, aged 23, of 126C George Street, appeared before Oban Sheriff Court on Monday March 22.

He denied two charges arising from an incident at flat 5F Catalina Avenue, during the early hours of November 22 last year.

Sheriff Patrick Hughes found him guilty of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner which was likely to cause fear or alarm.

He also convicted MacIvor of having shouted, swore and repeatedly struck his head against the inside of a police van during a journey into custody at Lochgilphead.

The trial heard that MacIvor, his girlfriend and a friend, had been drinking for several hours when an argument broke out at the flat.

James Dunbar, Procurator Fiscal, said the accused’s girlfriend told officers in a police statement afterwards that MacIvor had drank a bottle of Buckfast tonic wine, taken a TV off the wall in the bedroom and started punching it, and then damaged another television – leaving her ‘really scared’ and telling him to stop.

But when giving evidence at the trial, the accused’s girlfriend said she had been drunk when making the statement and could not remember it. She had told police that at no time had MacIvor put his hands on her and said in court she had not been frightened and that they had both argued.

From the witness box, the friend told the hearing he had been asked to leave the flat and could not really remember what happened. He did recall the accused having been ‘agitated’ and having stood over her and called her an insulting name.

Mr Dunbar told the Sheriff there had been an attempt to ‘minimise’ what happened that night, and confirmed that the couple still remained in a relationship.

Three police officers giving evidence said that when they arrived they could hear a female ‘screaming’ and a man ‘shouting’ and found the flat door open and in ‘disarray’, with broken televisions, and clothes and female footwear strewn about.

Police officers described MacIvor as being very ‘angry and aggressive’ towards them – telling them they needed a warrant to enter, demanding collar numbers and ‘brandishing’ a mobile phone.

MacIvor declined to give evidence, but his advocate Ruben Murdanaigum told the court it was merely an argument that happened in ‘every day life’ and that no neighbours had complained.

He said his client banged his head against the police vehicle on the journey to Lochgilphead because the road was poor and he had his hands cuffed behind his back having been drinking.

Sheriff Hughes told the court that he did not accept that it had been an argument between a couple where each had given ‘as good as they got’.

Instead of stopping his behaviour, MacIvor had ‘escalated’ the situation by smashing televisions, said Sheriff Hughes.

Requesting reports, Sheriff Hughes asked for all sentencing options to be considered including custody.