28th September 2016
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Man jailed after breaching court order for third time

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A man is beginning a four-month prison sentence after the latest incident in which he breached a non-harassment order – aimed at preventing him from making contact with his former partner – for the third time.

Peter Stevens, 46, of Lerwick’s Harbour Street repeatedly attended an address in the town’s North Road yesterday, after he posted written messages.

He also asked the victim’s mother to pass the notes on to the woman.

The upshot is that Stevens has now been handed an indefinite ban on making contact with his victim.

Stevens admitted the charge when he appeared in the dock from custody.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Stevens had attended the address on three separate occasions on the same date.

“You will remember this accused,” he told Sheriff Philip Mann. “This is now the third time that a non-harassment order has been breached.”

He added Stevens had expressed his feelings towards the woman in the notes.

“He claimed he had no knowledge that indirect contact was prohibited.”

Mr MacKenzie said drink may have been involved, but Stevens had displayed “manipulative” behaviour. He had claimed he was homeless which, the fiscal said, was “an outright lie”.

“It’s difficult to convey the effect this is having on the complainer,” he told the court.

“She is now living her life in a state of hyper-awareness, and constantly looking over her shoulder.”

He called for the two-year non-harassment order to be made indefinite – and be extended to include his mother-in-law as well.

“It’s the persistence of it which is a greatly concerning matter,” he said.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said none of the notes written by Stevens had requested any contact back from the complainer.

“There was nothing sinister in the wording itself,” he told the court.

He said Stevens, who was only released from his last prison term for a similar offence last Tuesday, felt he no longer wished to live in the isles.

“The communication was by way of a goodbye,” added Mr Allan.

“It’s his intention to move away from Shetland and to move away.”

Sheriff Mann told Stevens: “I don’t know how the message is ever going to get through to you, that when a court makes a non-harassment order it means it.

“You can’t just please yourself and decide to get yourself in a position where you are breaching that order.

“The difficult matter for me is you breached this order just a matter of days after being released from your last spell in custody. I’m not satisfied even yet that the penny has dropped.”