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Throwing urine at sheriff attracts four year sentence

13 September 2013

A man has been sentenced to four years in prison after throwing a cup of urine over a sheriff who had convened his court in the cell area at Airdrie Sheriff Court.

Sheriff John Rafferty had taken the step after Gary Travers had refused to appear in the dock from his cell. Accompanied by the fiscal, a security guard and two police officers, he conducted the hearing outside Travers' locked cell door, communicating with Travers through the hatch. When he refused bail, Travers, said to be "unruly and aggressive", flung the contents of a polystyrene cup through the hatch over the sheriff's face and clothes.

It is believed to be the first occasion on which a judge has been assaultd within a court building in Scotland.

Sentencing Travers at Glasgow High Court yesterday, Lord Pentland described his conduct as "outrageous" and "a disgraceful assault on a member of the judiciary in the course of his judicial business".

The sentence will run consecutively to a current jail term, and will be followed by a further three years' supervision.

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