Two Scottish men have been ordered to pay £15,000 in fines.
15k for sofa dropped on head. They managed to avoid a prison sentence. The combined fines came after they dropped a sofa from a building onto a woman walking past. At Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Monday Lee Morrison, 33, and Barrie Law, 27, were ordered to pay the fine after previously admitting to reckless conduct. The incident happened in December 2019 when the pair were trying to move a sofa from Law’s flat.
As it was too big to go down the stairs they decided to drop it from the roof. The court heard how they had checked to make sure no-one was below before making the 5 metre drop. Unfortunately it fell on top of Edita Butkeveiciute who was standing outside at the time. Colin Neilson, fiscal deputy, said “She wasn’t aware of what happened, she woke up screaming.”
He went on to say the charges had caused her “severe injury, permanent disfigurement and impairment”. The court were told that she still suffers panic attacks near tall buildings, can only sit down for 40 minutes and suffers lack of sleep and flashbacks. Representing Law, solicitor George Mathers said “When they saw the woman, he got absolutely the shock of his life.
He thought she was dead, he was shaken to the core. He feels so guilt-ridden about what he has done. This will haunt him for the rest of his life.”
Debbie Ginniver, who represented Mr Morrison, said “Mr Morrison certainly didn’t intend for anyone to get hurt, however, the complainer did suffer very serious injuries for his actions and he feels dreadful for that.
It was a catastrophic error of judgment on Mr Morrison’s part. If Mr Morrison could return back to December 7 2019 he wouldn’t make the same mistake.” Court Sheriff William Summers said “She was in hospital for a number of weeks and is still recovering. Her injuries are life changing. Had it been the case that the two of you had simply dropped this sofa without taking any precautions, custody would be inevitable. But I accept you took precautions, albeit entirely inadequate.”
Law and Morrison were ordered to pay a combined fine, £12,000 from Law and £3,000 from Morrison. After the verdict victim Ms Butkeveiciute said “What happened damaged me and has affected me for life but I don’t want those men to sit in jail. It was a stupid thing they did, they know that and they have to live with that.
But other people in the community have attacked them or isolated them and that is wrong so I don’t want to do anything to make matters worse. I just want to focus on my recovery in private and move on with my life the best way I can.”