Jail for man who swore at Dumfries sheriff and spat while being led to the cells

Dumfries Sheriff Court
Dumfries Sheriff Court -Credit:Jim McEwan

A man has been jailed for swearing at a sheriff in the court dock and spitting while being led to the cells.

Mark Hunter, from Dumfries, had originally been charged with threatening and spitting at Sheriff Joanna McDonald and court staff.

But he pleaded guilty earlier this week to an amended offence of spitting in the dock.

The 43-year-old, listed in court papers as a prisoner of HMP Dumfries, pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm by shouting and swearing and referring to Sheriff McDonald in derogatory terms by calling her “nothing but a specky b*****d”.

He appeared from custody at Dumfries Sheriff Court handcuffed and flanked by security guards and admitted causing the disturbance in court on May 15 last year.

Sheriff Colm Dempsey said: “Your behaviour on the day was repugnant and will not be tolerated.

“Standing the nature of the offence and your record there is no alternative to imprisonment. Had I been dealing with you after trial it would have been a sentence of 24 months, but following the guilty plea that is reduced to 18 months which is backdated to August 10, 2023.”