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‘You are fortunate you have a mask on’: Sheriff’s disgust at former gamekeeper who punched his mother in Brechin

Thief Arbroath camouflage flip-flops

An Angus man who punched his mother twice in the face was told he was lucky to be wearing a face mask in court to hide his shame.

Blair Buchannan admitted swinging at his mum after she picked him up from a house in Brechin, where he had consumed drugs and alcohol.

Former gamekeeper Buchanan, 22, said he could not recall the incident, which left Sarah Mills with swelling under her left eye.

Sheriff Derek Reekie said: “You are fortunate you have a mask on – I am sure you have a look of shame across your face.”

Drink and drugs

Depute fiscal Jill Drummond told Forfar Sheriff Court Buchanan had been at a friend’s house, having left his mother’s home earlier on February 17 last year.

“At around 8pm Ms Mills was in her home when Buchanan left, saying he would see her in a few hours.

“Ms Mills later called Buchanan and an unknown male answered and said Buchanan was unable to speak because he was under the influence.

“She went to (the house where her son had gone) and found him under the influence of drink and drugs.

“She left him at the property.

“At around midday the next day Ms Mills drove to collect the accused.

“Words were exchanged between Ms Mills and Buchanan.

“She was concerned regarding his behaviour.

“She parked the vehicle and went to grab his fleece top and told him not to speak to her the way he had.

“Buchanan then punched his mother twice to the left side of her face, which caused serious bruising to her left eye.

“She left the car and entered her home address, where she locked the door.

“She then left her home and went to a friend’s house, where she contacted the police.

“Officers attended and found Ms Mills holding an ice pack to her left eye.

“Buchanan was at the home address when officers attended to speak with him.

“He replied: ‘Sorry I hit my mum’.”

‘Bridges’

Mitigating for Buchanan, defence solicitor John Boyle told the court his mother had “forgiven” him.

He said: “He has little recollection, he had stupidly taken illicit substances.

“His mother has forgiven him and this was out of character.”

The court heard Buchanan had his firearms licence removed for drug-related reasons, meaning he could no longer work as a gamekeeper.

Sentencing Buchanan, of New Cumnock, East Ayrshire, to 120 hours’ unpaid work, Sheriff Reekie said: “You are fortunate you have a mask on, I am sure you have a look of shame across your face.

“You struck your mother after she came to help you – you should be ashamed.

“This sort of behaviour is wholly unacceptable.

“I hope for you and your mother’s sake you can rebuild your bridges.”

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