Custody for man who is dubbed ‘a menace’

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A man has been sent to custody for eight and a half months after he was found in the area of a house in Yell without lawful authority.

Jason Pottinger, 26, of Meadowbank Road in Burravoe admitted the offence when he appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

The woman who lived in the house – close to Pottinger’s own address – had been struggling to sleep at around 1.30am on 6th April, when she heard a vehicle being driven up the road to her house. She saw the car turn around and head back down the road away from the property.

But later she heard a vehicle driving over her cattle grid.

She got out of her bed and noticed the vehicle stopping a short distance from her home with the headlights turned off.

She awoke her husband, and they saw a torch-light move towards their home.

They watched Pottinger as he shone the torch around a van, before moving towards their car.

He then walked around the nearby garage and shed. But when they shouted at him to leave the property he shouted back: “It’s Jason. I’m trying to find my way home”.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Pottinger was a “menace to the public when at liberty.”

The court heard Pottinger, who was released in April, was subject to an unexpired prison sentence, which was only due to expire on 17th November.

“If he is at liberty he will offend and he will offend in a way that impacts on the community,” Mr MacKenzie said, adding other inquiries were being carried out into similar offences.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Pottinger had a tenancy and had been able to find work.

He said Pottinger still maintained he did not intend to carry out any theft, adding he had no tools with him on the night.

Mr Allan said Pottinger had lost a number of friends and “decided to get off his face on valium for a few days. That is what he did and he can’t remember much of what happened.”

Pottinger had also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance on 8th December on the B-road at Gulberwick.

Mr Allan said there was insurance in place for the car, but that cover would only have been valid if Pottinger had been accompanied by a passed driver – which he wasn’t at the time.

Sheriff Philip Mann sentenced Pottinger to 10 weeks for the offence, as well as six months for offending before his previous sentence expired.

“The fact of the matter is you were released early from a custodial sentence. When released early it is on the basis of trust that you will not commit further offences. You’ve breached that trust and it seems entirely appropriate … you should now be returned to prison to serve out your sentence.”

• Sheriff Mann launched another volley of criticism against security firm G4S as Pottinger was brought into the dock.

The sheriff was seeking answers as to why Pottinger had not been brought in time for the start of the court day at 10am. Pottinger was only brought to court in time for his case to be heard at noon.

The court heard Pottinger was brought up on the first available flight.

“I’m not in the business of shooting the messenger, but as far as I understand, the court was not even advised … until the court made an inquiry.

“The court here is not at all happy with the service we are getting from G4S. To my knowledge this is the third or fourth time G4S have failed to adhere to the terms of its contract on time.”

On previous occasions G4S have defended their record and insisted problems in transporting custodies to and from court can raise issues beyond its control.