A teenage Angus tearaway has dodged detention for what a sheriff labelled an “appalling catalogue of behaviour” against police, staff at his former school and social workers tasked with helping him.
The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, attacked a youngster at his old secondary before delivering racist abuse at its head teacher.
Once within the criminal justice system he then volleyed abuse at social workers and threatened to kill police and bomb a building during an incident witnessed by horrified members of the public whose attention had been drawn to the street commotion.
The youngster’s criminal behaviour led him to the dock of Forfar Sheriff Court, where his own lawyer described the teen’s conduct during previous trial proceedings as the worst he had witnessed during a quarter of a century in the profession.
Defence solicitor Brian Bell said: “The range and extent of his offending behaviour can only be described as appalling.
“He clearly has severe anger management issues but has engaged with relevant agencies for the first time.
“He spent a period of time in Polmont and it can only be hoped that the short experience of 12 days on remand has gone some way to changing his behaviour.
“In terms of his behaviour in court, it is something I have not seen before over my 25 years.”
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The teenager appeared before Sheriff Jamie McDonald for sentencing on a string of offences committed earlier this year and was told by the judge: “This is what can only be described as an appalling catalogue of behaviour.
“I have no doubt that at the root of your offending is significant immaturity.
“You should understand this, however, that it is open for me to send you to straight to custody for four years and I would have been looking at imposing consecutive sentences.
“It is only your young age that makes me step back from doing so.
“I have significant concerns that you pose a very high risk of further offending,” said the sheriff.
He imposed a 12-month Community Payback Order on the youth and also ordered him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work within six months.
“If you breach these orders and the work is not completed to the last minute the court’s hands may well be tied and a sentence along the lines of that indicated may be inevitable.”