A COURT bid to prevent a Renfrewshire man from shaving off his beard has failed.

Procurator fiscal depute Frank Clarke tried to get David Roach to promise he would leave his long whiskers intact as he awaits trial for allegedly arming himself with a knife and behaving in a threatening or abusive way by brandishing weapons.

But a judge ruled it was not appropriate for the court to interfere in Roach’s physical appearance.

The situation arose at Paisley Sheriff Court as the trial against Elderslie man Roach and former girlfriend Karen Kennedy was being adjourned to another date.

Roach, 30, denies having a knife on him in public, without a reasonable excuse, in Ferguslie Park Avenue, Paisley, on January 11 this year.

He is also said to have behaved in a threatening or abusive way by shouting, swearing and brandishing weapons. 

Prosecutors claim Kennedy, 22, was armed with a piece of wood on the same occasion.

Defence solicitor Kirsty McGeehan asked for the trial to be adjourned for an identification parade to take place ahead of a new date being set, pointing out that a witness had mentioned the man responsible had a “large beard” but had never been asked to pick out the man in question. 

She claimed Roach’s right to a fair trial could be prejudiced if the witness was asked to identify him in court, as he has a beard.

Mr Clarke, prosecuting, said: “I wonder if Mr Roach would give an undertaking that he will remain bearded?”

However, Mrs McGeehan said it would be unfair to her client to dictate whether or not he could shave.

Sheriff Craig Harris then told the court: “I’m not sure I can really get involved in that. I think we’ll just need to leave things as they are.”

He refused to change bail conditions in the case, which ban the pair from approaching or contacting each other.

Kennedy, of Ferguslie Park Avenue, and Roach, of Houston Place, Elderslie, are now due to go on trial next month.

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