29th September 2016
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Man jailed for setting fire to listed building

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A man who set fire to St Clement’s Hall with his twin brother was jailed for 18 months, including six months for other offences.

Lee Hamilton, 20, of Ladies Drive in Lerwick, and his brother Drew, who lives in St Olaf Street, previously admitted setting fire to the listed building which backs on to the King Erik House old folks home.

Firemen reacted promptly to put out the blaze in the smoke filled building which had “unsound” flooring.

“The potential for disaster was there,” procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie told Lerwick Sheriff Court.

The pair also admitted smashing windows and mirrors in the building and hammering holes in its floor and walls.

Tommy Allan, defending, characterised the incident as “drunken mischief making” rather than a deliberate attempt to burn the building to the ground.

But Mr MacKenzie said the twins failed to alert the emergency services after fleeing the building.

Sentencing Lee Hamilton, Sheriff Philip Mann said that given his repeated offending, another non-custodial sentence was not appropriate.

The sheriff sentenced him to 12 months in prison for starting the fire, back-dated to 12th November, when he was taken into custody for breaching a community payback order. He received a further six months for other offences, including breaching bail conditions.

The sheriff said Drew Hamilton had appeared far less frequently before the court and had received an “exemplary” social work report.

In light of this he sentenced Hamilton to complete 200 hours of community work within 18 months when he will be under supervision, and imposed a four-month restriction of liberty order.