Highlands & Islands

Man who attacked pregnant woman given 'second chance'

Inverness Sheriff Court
Image caption The court heard that Stewart was unhappy with the pregnant woman's behaviour

A man who attacked a pregnant woman has been given a community pay-back order and told to attend alcohol counselling.

Alexander Stewart, 25, struck Ann Stewart, a friend of his partner, on the head and bit her during the attack at his home in Inverness on 5 March.

The court heard he was unhappy at her behaviour, and thought she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Sentencing, Sheriff Margaret Neilson said she would give him the chance to show he would turn his life around.

Depute fiscal Karen Smith had told Inverness Sheriff Court that Stewart thought she was "getting in his face" and he struck her on the head with his hand and bit her on the finger.

Stewart, had previously admitted committing the assault while on a bail order when he appeared from custody last month.

Sentence was deferred for background reports.

Alternative sentence

Defence lawyer John McColl admitted his client had a bad record, with a number of previous convictions.

However, he said Stewart had not served a community-based sentence since 2005 and the sheriff who deferred the case for reports realised jail had not worked for him.

Mr McColl said the social inquiry report was somewhat positive given his history.

He told the court that Stewart had expected a jail sentence, but would be willing to do an alternative as suggested by the social worker.

He added: "The victim was an acquaintance of his partner and it was a result of her poor behaviour in his house that he reacted to her."

Sheriff Margaret Neilson told Stewart: "With considerable hesitation I am going to give you the opportunity to show you are really prepared to turn your life around.

"You presumable realise that if you blow this chance you will not get another one and you will be back through the revolving door."

She sentenced him to be placed on a community pay-back order for two years, with the condition he carry out 240 hours of community service and attend alcohol counselling.

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