An Angus man faces separation from his Malaysian family for the next three months after being ordered to surrender his passport over repeated failures to appear in court.
Blair Anderson was previously locked up when police arrested him on a warrant in connection with an assault case dating back more than two years.
The Monifieth 44-year-old has now been told by a sheriff he is not allowed to leave the country until his trial in February.
Anderson, of Beech Grove, Monifieth has denied assaulting a man at an address in Piperdam Drive, Piperdam on June 29 2018 by repeatedly punching him on the head to his injury.
He is also accused of breaching the peace there on the same date by behaving in a threatening manner, going to the property uninvited, shouting through the letterbox, shouting and swearing and acting in an aggressive manner.
The offences are alleged to have happened while Anderson was on bail.
He appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court where Sheriff Derek Reekie criticised the accused for his “pretty poor” record in turning up for the case.
He has attended here today and that does reduce the risk of him being a flight risk.
Solicitor Billy Rennie.
He was told Anderson had been working abroad in Malaysia.
“The first trial was in 2018 and he fails to appear,” said the sheriff.
“A warrant is issued and it takes 14 months to get him here. Then on March 23 he is remanded and he only gets out because Covid intervenes.”
It may well be that you are not a flight risk escaping the country to evade justice, but the simple fact of the matter is that there is every reason to expect you may not be here again the next time.
Sheriff Derek Reekie.
Solicitor Billy Rennie said Anderson, who has a fiancée and child in Malaysia, took a job opportunity which was then extended and he was unable to get back to the UK in time for the court hearing.
“He has attended here today and that does reduce the risk of him being a flight risk.
“He needs to work to provide financially for his fiancée and child and the only difficulty is he needs his passport if he has to go elsewhere to do that.”
Sheriff Reekie said: “I don’t particularly want him to lose his job over this but I am being put in a very awkward position.
“With this sort of work in the current climate, if he goes away somewhere he may well get stuck there for some time.”
Special bail condition imposed
He told Anderson: “I am not at all satisfied with this.
“It may well be that you are not a flight risk escaping the country to evade justice, but the simple fact of the matter is that there is every reason to expect you may not be here again the next time given what has happened before.
“My alternative is to remand you in custody and that makes sure it gets dealt with.”
The sheriff added: “I will grant you bail with the special condition that you surrender your passport and do not apply for another one until the case is concluded.
“If there is any particular reason for you to require it you can apply for a review and the court can at least have some say in the matter, but I make no promises on that.
“The witnesses and the court have already been out to more than enough inconvenience.”
A special bail condition banning Anderson from Piperdam Drive was also continued until his trial in February.