Lerwick man who made death threat to social worker awaits sentencing

A TWENTY five year old man from Lerwick who threatened to murder a social worker has had sentence adjourned until next month.

Kyle Swannie, of the town’s Hoofields, admitted making the threat in a phone call to the social worker’s colleague on 18 October last year.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday he pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting, swearing, intimating that he knew where both care workers lived, threatening to attend her residence and to murder the woman’s colleague.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Swannie’s outburst occurred after discussing a family related matter with the social worker.

After the woman had two missed calls on her phone, Swannie phoned her colleague at her home address and described the woman as a “rat”, threatening to slit her throat, claiming her handling of the case was “going to cause a murder” and he was “going to do time for this”.

Mackenzie said the threats were taken very seriously – to the extent that the social worker was advised to spend a night in a hotel for her own safety until Swannie was apprehended.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said there was “absolutely no justification” for his client’s behaviour towards professionals who do a difficult job very well.

He made threats that “cannot be condoned” and “must be taken very seriously”, but there was “a little more to it than meets the eye”.

He said Swannie had an unfortunate propensity for outbursts and threats of violence, but had attempted to apologise personally on three separate occasions.

Swannie is receiving mental health support and is also making efforts to deal with anger management issues, Allan added.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank adjourned the matter for a criminal justice social work report to be prepared and continued Swannie’s bail until his next appearance on 2 February.


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