Highlands & Islands

Whitby athlete punched pub bouncer and police officer in Inverness

Catherine Taylor
Image caption Catherine Taylor's solicitor said she was "extremely embarrassed, remorseful and upset" at what happened

A top orienteering athlete punched a pub bouncer and a police officer after competing in the World Championships in the Highlands.

Catherine Taylor caused no injuries to the door supervisor or the 6ft 3in officer because of her small size, Inverness Sheriff Court heard.

Taylor, 26, of Whitby, had been on a night out with other athletes in Inverness before she assaulted the men.

The court heard that she had consumed too much alcohol. She was fined £300.

Taylor, who admitted two charges of assault but was not in court for sentencing, had competed in four events before joining other athletes on a night out on 7 August.

The assaults occurred after midnight on 8 August.

Punched in face

Fiscal depute Michelle Molley told the court that the athlete was refused entry to the Caledonian Bar on Inverness High Street because she was too drunk.

The fiscal said: "She took exception to this and punched door steward John Barclay on the back of the head.

"She was arrested by police and taken to Burnett Road Police Station where she punched PC Colin Scott in the face."

Defence lawyer Mike Chapman told the court that Taylor had nothing to eat, consumed too much alcohol and ended up assaulting a muscular door steward and a tall police officer.

Mr Chapman said no injuries were caused by the blows because of "her stature".

'Disastrous day'

The solicitor said: "She is an elite athlete who spends most of her time living and training in Sweden.

"She is the British number one in her chosen sport and represented her country in the World Championships which brought her to the area.

"She competed in four events which finished on 7 August. At the end of the competition, she was exhausted, exacerbated by having to wait in wet clothes in a shed for an hour for a drugs test."

Mr Chapman said the wait for the test had been the beginning of "a disastrous day" for his client.

He said: "She had nothing to eat and had drank alcohol. She doesn't normally drink and coupled with her being so small, it had a greater effect on her.

"She knows it is no excuse for her behaviour. She was taken to the police station but the handcuffs could not be applied because her wrists were so small and she reacted."

The solicitor said Taylor had no previous convictions and was "extremely embarrassed, remorseful and upset at what happened".

Related Topics