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Moray man who left a 12-year-old girl "terrified" after grabbing her at a taxi rank has been sentenced


By Ali Morrison



A MORAY man who had left a 12-year-old girl "terrified" after grabbing her at a taxi rank has been sentenced.

Elgin Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court on the High Street, Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Elgin Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court on the High Street, Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

James Shewan (41) appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court via videolink from Inverness Prison.

The court was told that the 12-year-old girl and her mum had been waiting for a taxi to return for them on the morning of August 13, 2022 when the 41-year-old had come up behind them. Shewan, who was unknown to the girl grabbed the child by her shoulders and told her that if she ever smoked or drank alcohol he would "chop her hands off."

He then continued to rant about smoking and drinking and lingered around the mother and child, attempting to engage with them, leaving them frightened.

The 41-year-old resident of Masonic Close, Elgin was also charged with breaching several community payback orders, one of which was put in place following the theft of a collection tin for a children's cancer charity from Maclean's Bakery in Forres.

Defence Solicitor Grant Daglish said that alcohol had been an issue for much of his life and that the 41-year-old was "mortified" by the theft at the bakery, which only occurred as a result of the substance. He added that Shewan was attempting to give the child advice, but had went about it the wrong way and appreciated that it was not appropriate.

Sheriff David Harvie said Shewan had been given various different chances by the court and that the theft of the charity tin was "reprehensible conduct". He had been told the child was "left terrified" by her encounter with Shewan.

Although he had been granted bail at the time, due his breach of bail and his non-compliance with a community payback order Sheriff Harvie sentenced Shewan to a total of six months in prison for the offences.


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