by Kirsty Tobin
Bail conditions and curfew imposed on John Harrison (17) were yesterday lifted by Perthshire sheriff George Way so that the violent teen could depart for a family holiday.
Sheriff Way listened to argument from Solicitor Mike Tavendale relating to a lifting of bail curfew and a postponement of sentencing. Harrison’s sentencing, on three separate charges, had been due to take place today.
Tavendale stated that Harrison’s mother had booked the holiday well in advance of any offences relating to this sentencing.
Way has come under fire from Conservative justice spokesman Bill Aitken; “it does nothing to increase respect for the law when offenders such as Harrison are allowed to go on holiday in these circumstances and is yet another manifestation of the soft-touch approach employed in the Scottish justice system.”
The offence that resulted in the initial introduction of a curfew took place in July of this year, when Harrison lashed out at police officers who were attempting to arrest him. He is confined to his house between the hours of 7pm and 7am.
Harrison also committed a burglary and assaulted an elderly gentleman, resulting in his being banned from Coupar Angus, Perth and Kinross. The burglary and assault both took place while Harrison was on bail following the altercation with police officers.
Aitken has further decried the decision in reaction to the teen’s past; “this man presented the court with a fait accompli and I am surprised and disappointed the bail conditions were varied. Indeed, I am surprised – bearing in mind the seriousness of the offence and the fact that this was committed whilst already on bail – that he was not remanded in custody pending sentence.”