Man threatened accommodation camp staff before struggling with police


A GLASGOW MAN faces sentencing in May after he admitted threatening staff at a North Mainland accommodation block before violently struggling with police.

Stephen McDowall, of Bisland Court, also told officers he had symptoms of Covid-19 before he spat and licked the windows of a police vehicle.

Tax Solicitor Duncan Mackenzie told Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday that the incident, on January 13, began around 10 p.m. at the Sella Ness accommodation lodge.

McDowall, 40, had been drinking and spoke to staff to say personal effects had been stolen from his room.

Staff said they would look into the matter, the court heard. An hour later, his “state of sobriety had deteriorated” and he returned to staff.

McDowall became “angry” and directed his anger at two female staff members, Mackenzie said – threatening to kill them.

The police were called and they left Lerwick for Sella Ness, but McDowall had been to town.

He was later found in Lerwick, and was arrested before being taken to the town’s police station around half past midnight.

“He was extremely belligerent towards the policeman and aggressive throughout,” Mackenzie said.

When it became clear he was going to be locked in the cell, McDowall said he had symptoms of Covid.

This led to McDowall being placed in a police vehicle in the yard, with officers wearing protective gear as they dealt with him.

McDowall was spitting, licking windows and shouting “have my Covid”.

There was another struggle with officers later in the station, with his behavior continuing for hours.

Defense agent Tommy Allan said his client worked in Sullom Voe at the time and said some of his belongings were stolen from his accommodation.

He was unhappy with how it was handled, the court heard.

Allan said McDowall regretted his behavior and lost his job as a result.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said the offenses were ‘absolutely appalling’ and postponed sentencing until May 11 to allow a criminal justice social work report to be prepared.


Space2face Shetland is an independent, confidential service that uses restorative justice and the arts to connect those harmed by crime or conflict with those responsible for the harm. We enable everyone affected by a particular incident to play a role in repairing the harm and finding a positive path forward.

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