Harmless psychic prank ends in violent altercation
A DRUNK Oban man who reacted violently when a ‘psychic prank’ was played on him, has been fined £600 for assaulting three men.
In an unusual case, Oban sheriff court heard on Tuesday that Ian Paul Macara, 33, of Croft Road in the town, arrived uninvited at an address in Lorn Avenue on January 29 this year.
Three men were inside the house, drinking and playing computer games when they heard a knock at the door. The court heard that one of the men ‘ vaguely’ knew Macara and invited him into the flat.
The men then began to joke to the accused that one of them was psychic, relaying personal information to Mr Macara, which had in fact been obtained from Facebook.
Procurator fiscal Eoin McGin- ty said that while, for all intents and purposes, it was intended as a joke, the accused acted angrily, and punched one man on the face, who was sitting on the settee next to him. The injured man then ran from the flat.
Another man remonstrated with the accused, with Macara swinging punches at him. He also ran from the flat.
The third resident was then punched, kneed and kicked in the head, while he lay ‘curled up into a ball’ as Macara rained blows down on him, before he left the property.
The third man phoned the police who arrived at the scene quickly, with two of the complainers outside the property in a state of distress and worried for their friend who they believed was inside ‘ being attacked’.
Police then saw the accused leave the block of flats with grazed knuckles and in a drunken state. They arrested him.
The court heard one of the victims was left with swelling around his eye and another had swelling to the side of his face and a cut to his head.
Laura MacManus, defending, said it was ‘out of sorts’ for her client to be so drunk.
She told the court: ‘He receives drug and alcohol testing when working and he has addressed his use of alcohol outside of work.
‘He arrived at the wrong flat and was allowed entry and felt he was taken advantage of and wound up.’
However, Sheriff Ruth Anderson, QC, noted that he had previously been charged with drink driving, and that his level of intoxication had meant he ended up at the door of an address for no reason, in the company of people he didn’t know, and acted completely inappropriately, turning the situation into a physical altercation.
Sheriff Anderson also men- tioned that, despite initially being meant as a prank, the case showed the danger of personal details being held on social media sites such as Facebook.
Sentencing Macara, she heard that while currently unemployed, he was waiting on a visa application for an offshore mechanical supervisor’s job, where he expected to earn £ 5000 a month after tax. He was fined £900, reduced to £600 due to his early plea, to be paid by October 4.