Inverness man who throttled girl gets community service

Inverness Sheriff Court Inverness Sheriff Court heard that Flint-Elkins was a first offender

A man who throttled a 12-year-old girl until she collapsed unconscious has been ordered to carry out unpaid community work.

Paul Flint-Elkins, 20, of Inverness, assaulted the girl after she called him "chicken", an earlier hearing at Inverness Sheriff Court was told.

The child was among a group of girls jumping between walls near Ashie Lane in Inverness in March last year.

Flint-Elkins said he could do the same before refusing a dare to do so.

Sheriff Margaret Neilson agreed with a submission by defence lawyer Duncan Henderson that Flint-Elkins could be dealt with by a community-based disposal.

He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work as an alternative to prison.

Flint-Elkins had earlier pleaded guilty to assaulting the girl by seizing hold of her, placing his hands round her neck and compressing her throat until she lost consciousness and to the danger of her life.

'Very angry'

Fiscal depute Roderick Urquhart told Sheriff Neilson that his crime "was reckless immaturity".

Mr Urquhart added: "The girls were jumping from wall to wall or garage roof and he said he could do that.

"One of the girls dared him and offered him a sum of money but he changed his mind.

"Then his victim called him 'chicken.' He was very angry and he used both hands to squeeze her throat until she went white in the face and sank into unconsciousness."

The court heard first offender Flint-Elkins told the girl's friends she was "lucky he let go of her this time".

Police were called when the father of one of the youngsters heard them screaming.

Mr Henderson told the court: "I am instructed to apologise to the girl, her family and all who were present during the assault."

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