A Chinese man who sexually abused a teenage girl has been jailed for six months and placed on the sex offenders register for seven years.
Ching Shiong Heng, 30, of St Magnus Street in Lerwick, could also face being deported by the UK Border Agency after he admitted causing the underage girl to participate in a sex act on 5th November last year.
Sentence at Lerwick Sheriff Court had previously been deferred for background reports to be compiled.
Defence agent John Slavin said Heng, who worked at a Chinese restaurant in the town, had been an “up-standing member of the community” who had worked at the same place for six years and had taken part in charity events.
He pointed to a “favourable” background report which indicated Heng was not at high risk of repeating the offence, and urged Sheriff Philip Mann to spare him from a custodial sentence.
“It does indicate that this was, totally, a one-off incident,” he said. “The risk factor is of a relatively low nature.
“I’d submit one way which the court could mark his behaviour is with an alternative to custody by way of a community payback order. He’s willing to undertake any additional requirements by way of victim empathy that the court may submit.”
The court also heard a notice of liability of deportation had been served on Heng. Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said it was for the UK Border Agency to “take whatever steps they feel necessary”.
Sheriff Mann insisted Heng had admitted carrying out a serious offence, and that there was no appropriate alternative to a custodial sentence.
“It is my view that this particular offence to which you have pled guilty to is a serious offence of its kind. You are a man twice the age of the complainer.
“Having regard to the maximum penalties prescribed for this offence it seems to me that the legislature has sent a clear signal that offences of this kind are to be taken very seriously indeed.
“Taking all of the mitigating factors into account, if it were not for your guilty plea at the earliest opportunity, I would have imposed a custodial sentence of nine months. I will reduce that to six months on account of your early plea.”