First offender admits assault — (Hawick News)

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Hawick News

Published: 17:26 Thursday 18 October 2007

A 46-year-old woman, described as a “thoroughly public-spirited person”, was ordered to be of good behaviour after admitting an assault in a fast food outlet.

First offender Margaret Dalgleish struck out with her hand while queuing in the Istanbul Takeway in Oliver Place, on Saturday, April 28.

The court heard she was reacting to the “general, verbal abuse” from victim Keith Johnston who, like the accused and her husband, had ordered food and was waiting to be served at around 11.30pm.

“She lunged towards Mr Johnston and her finger caught him in the eye,” said fiscal Alistair Fay.

The accused had later admitted the offence, telling police she was drunk and had been under a great deal of stress. She was taking anti-depressants, sleeping pills and had “various family issues”.

For Dalgleish, a self-employed hairdresser, solicitor Rory Bannerman said Mr Johnston had not gone to hospital until 18 hours after the incident. He had sustained a ripped retina but had been told by a doctor that it would heal by itself.

“She never intended to cause any injury and has never been in any court before,” said the lawyer. She had overindulged in alcohol and was under stress because her 16-year-old daughter had twice been in prison.

“This was hardly setting a good example to her daughter,” interjected Sheriff Kevin Drummond.

Mr Bannerman: “No, your honour . . . but we know Mr Johnston was no shrinking violet and, if he had said nothing in the shop, this would not have happened.”

He described how Mr and Mrs Dalgleish had left the premises after the incident and gone home, unaware that Mr Johnston had sustained an injury.

“If she had realised what had happened she would have gone straight to the police station. Mrs Dalgleish is a thoroughly public-spirited person and this was completely out of character. She has apologised and been undoubtedly chastened by this.”

Sheriff Drummond told the accused: “You realise this was entirely inappropriate behaviour, whatever else is going on in your life.”

He deferred sentence for four months for good behaviour. If the accused is in no more trouble, she will be admonished.