Violent attacker has ‘tag’ lifted so he can go to church meetings and gym


A Fife man, who violently assaulted a female neighbour at her door after he went on a drinking session, has had his ‘tag’ removed so he can go to church meetings. 

The victim was injured in what was described as an “extremely frightening” incident. 

James Smith, who placed the woman in a headlock and grabbed her breast apparently just because he was in a bad mood, was placed on a restriction of liberty order for a year in June. 

However, he asked for the hours to be relaxed to allow him to go to church meetings and to have more time to go to the gym and swimming. 

Sheriff Alastair Brown did more than just change the hours, he ended the tagging order, previously imposed by Sheriff Charles MacNair. 

Smith (32), now of Campbell Street, Dunfermline, assaulted the woman when he was living in Burntisland. 

A jury found him guilty after a trial earlier this year.

He was convicted of a charge that on 14th and 15th April last year at Melville Gardens, Burntisland, he shouted, swore, threatened violence and committed a breach of the peace.

He was also found guilty of a charge that on 15th April last year, also at Melville Gardens, he assaulted a woman by pushing her on the body, placed her in a headlock, seized her by the breast and struggled with her, all to her injury.

When interviewed by the police, Smith told them he suffered from multiple sclerosis and had gone through a “day of rage” before the incident because of problems in his personal and family life.

When he returned home, he was “still raging” and became involved in a confrontation with the neighbour.

He admitted there was “a wee scuffle” with the woman but said she was able to overpower him because of his health difficulties.

The victim claimed Smith had threatened to rape her during the assault.

Another neighbour heard him shout, “You’re going to f****** get it”.

At sentencing in June, Sheriff MacNair told Smith, “It must have been extremely frightening for this woman.”

He imposed a community payback order with two years’ supervision and a restriction of liberty order lasting 12 months.

However, that has now been brought to an end with over six months remaining.

Smith told the court he wanted attended meetings at the Dunfermline Free Church of Scotland and also to have more time for leisure activities such as swimming and going to the gym.

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