Vi­o­lent out­burst with a walk­ing stick

Perthshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Court re­porter

Vi­o­lence erupted in a Coupar An­gus house when a 21-year-old woman went on the ram­page with a walk­ing stick.

Megan Duffy, of Church Place, then hurled a bot­tle through the win­dow of the prop­erty, en­dan­ger­ing the oc­cu­pants - and show­er­ing Kevin Traynor with shards of bro­ken glass.

She has been given the chance to avoid a fur­ther prison sen­tence and has been or­dered to be of good be­hav­iour un­til Fe­bru­ary 7 next year.

Sher­iff Lind­say Foulis or­dered a sup­ple­men­tary back­ground re­port on the fe­male af­ter she ad­mit­ted that she wil­fully or reck­lessly struck the ceil­ing of a house in Japp Square, Coupar An­gus, on Fe­bru­ary 25 this year with the walk­ing aid. She then smashed glasses and or­na­ments dur­ing the vi­o­lent episode.

She also pled guilty to a sec­ond charge that she cul­pa­bly and reck­lessly, with “ut­ter dis­re­gard for the con­se­quences”, threw the bot­tle through the win­dow there, re­sult­ing in Mr Traynor, who was sit­ting in­side, be­ing hit by the mis­sile and pieces of shat­tered glass.

Not guilty pleas were ac­cepted on her be­half by so­lic­i­tor Steve Laf­ferty to two fur­ther charges, one of as­sault.

She had been ac­cused of seiz­ing Laura Gil­lie by the hair, pulling it to her in­jury, and bran­dish­ing the walk­ing stick, bang­ing it on a ta­ble and over­turn­ing bins.

De­pute fis­cal Carol Whyte said Duffy had been drink­ing in the house with friends but had been asked to leave about 9.45pm.

“When that hap­pened, she be­gan to swing the walk­ing stick ran­domly, in a men­ac­ing man­ner.”

She banged it on a ta­ble, smash­ing sev­eral bot­tles, glasses and small or­na­ments. She then swung it up­wards, smash­ing a light on the ceil­ing.

She was phys­i­cally re­moved from the prop­erty but once out­side, she threw a bot­tle of wine through the liv­ing room win­dow, caus­ing a large hole. The mis­sile struck Mr Traynor who was sit­ting on a sofa di­rectly un­der the win­dow.

“The bot­tle struck him on his neck and some of the bro­ken glass also landed on him,” added the fis­cal.

So­lic­i­tor Mr Laf­ferty said she is cur­rently serv­ing an eight-month sen­tence for as­sault and is due to be re­leased on Novem­ber 17.

He re­vealed that a Com­mu­nity Pay­back Or­der had also been im­posed on his client just 10 days be­fore this lat­est of­fence.

Sher­iff Foulis said he was pre­pared to see how the ac­cused pro­gressed on the or­der fol­low­ing her im­pend­ing re­lease.

“I am giv­ing you an op­por­tu­nity to in­di­cate that hav­ing served the eight months - and a pre­vi­ous sen­tence of de­ten­tion - the penny is be­gin­ning to drop.”

Duffy was given the eight months be­hind bars af­ter plead­ing guilty to a cat­a­logue of charges, in­clud­ing po­lice as­sault, fol­low­ing trou­ble at a Blair­gowrie care home.

The court was told on that oc­ca­sion that a po­lice of­fi­cer had two stitches in­serted in a gash to her lip af­ter she was struck with the hand­cuffs she was us­ing in a bid to re­strain the ac­cused. The court heard she had been on a “three-day bender”.

PC Jill Christie was taken to Perth Royal In­fir­mary for treat­ment af­ter the vi­o­lent en­counter - and she could be left with a per­ma­nent scar.

The in­ci­dent arose when Duffy snapped af­ter turn­ing up at North­lands Home, Wood­lands Road, Blair­gowrie, where her mother worked.

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