20th May 2018
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Unpaid work for lewd teenager who offered 11-year-old girl cannabis

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A Mossbank teenager who made sexually explicit comments to an 11-year-old girl and offered to supply her with cannabis has been ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

James Leaper, 16, of Maidenfield, has also been placed on the sex offenders register for 12 months after admitting the carrying out the offences between July and September last year.

Sentence at Lerwick Sheriff Court had been deferred for reports.

Today’s court heard Leaper had lacked self-esteem and had compensated by trying to impress people.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said there was “no real underlying risk” of Leaper re-offending, adding he had acted out of bravado.

Mr Allan said Leaper had done everything that had been asked of him, and was fit to do hours of unpaid work.

Sheriff Philip Mann ordered that Leaper carry out 120 hours of unpaid work on both charges as part of a community payback order, with a supervision requirement, for one year. The unpaid work orders will run consecutively.

He warned Leaper: “It’s very clear to me you are old enough to have understood that what you did on these occasions was entirely wrong and inappropriate.”

Referring to Leaper’s offer of cannabis to the girl, he said: “Any drug offence is a serious matter, and offering to supply to an 11-year-old is serious in the extreme. In a sense, it’s up to you if you want to abuse drugs, though I would never condone that and I hope you’d see the folly of doing that. But you’ve got no right to push drugs onto anybody, and in particular an 11-year-old girl. Again, you should feel thoroughly ashamed of yourself.”

Meanwhile, a young man who sexually assaulted young girls has been told he must remain on the sex offenders register for nine months.

Declan Harrison-Ames, 17, of New Craigielea, has also been handed a community payback order with a supervision requirement.

He appeared for sentence at the court today after previously owning up to the assaults in the town’s Commercial Street and Viking Bus Station in December and January.

Sheriff Philip Mann warned him he could land behind bars if he failed to co-operate with social workers.

“That would open up the possibility of a custodial sentence for three months.”

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