Published: 09/07/2009 00:00 - Updated: 24/11/2011 14:26

Hammer man's jail warning

A MAN who caused extensive damage to his girlfriend's home with a hammer after losing his temper Andrew McHattie (30) was described by his solicitor as a paranoid schizophrenic but Sheriff Ian Abercrombie was told McHattie's condition played no part in the offence.

He was sentenced to 160 hours of community service at Inverness Sheriff Court last week.

McHattie, of St Francis Gardens, Inverness, pleaded guilty to destroying or damaging property at Haugh Road on April 21 with a hammer, breaking a window and door, smashing a cooker, making holes in walls and throwing various items of furniture around, causing them to break.

Depute Fiscal Sandy Collie said McHattie and his partner at the time lived at that address and there had been an argument.

"She left then heard the smashing of glass and saw the accused causing some of the damage with the hammer," he added.

Mr Collie said the damage to the flat was extensive, including holes in walls, cupboard doors and the leg of a table and picture were smashed.

The fiscal said there were 10 holes in the stairway wall, a toilet seat was ripped off and there was damage to a bedroom and various pieces of furniture.

Defence solicitor Marc Dickson said the property was privately let to McHattie's girlfriend.

He said the background reports indicated McHattie had been in a steady relationship at the time of the offence and he had a long history of mental health difficulties, suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Mr Dickson said McHattie recalled having an argument with his girlfriend and he became very angry.

Sheriff Abercrombie said the psychiatric report before the court showed McHattie's condition had nothing to do with the offence. He told McHattie he had to learn to control his temper.

"I understand you have had a terrible past but you must understand losing your temper in this way and behaving the way you did is completely unacceptable," he said.

"It is really important you don't cause this type of damage again and if you do, you will be facing imprisonment."

Sentencing McHattie to community service, the sheriff also ordered to him to undertake anger management courses and said he would be monitoring his progress.

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