21st July 2018
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Repeat offender Hilditch jailed for 20 months

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A repeat offender who ran in front of a moving car, obstructing and violently struggling with police, as well as making nearly 30 nuisance 999 calls has been sent to prison for 20 months.

Nathan Hilditch, 22, of Ulsta, Yell appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

He previously admitted culpably and recklessly running in front of a moving car at Ladies Drive, Lerwick. Hilditch also admitted resisting and obstructing two police officers and violently struggling with them, making 999 calls on 28 occasions on 23rd April, when he had no need of police assistance and while on bail.

He also pleaded guilty previously to breaching bail conditions that he should not be in public with alcohol in his system and acting in a disorderly manner at an address in Ulsta, repeatedly knocking on the door of a home occupied by people he did not know, in the early hours of the morning.

Mr Allan said his client, who appeared from custody, was “not able to control himself” when he had been drinking, despite his client’s position he did not have a problem with drink.

“Once he has been drinking he needs attention and acts in a way that he does to bring attention to himself,” said Mr Allan.

He told the court a psychological assessment seemed to be months away and questioned whether this could be accessed sooner. He suggested to Sheriff Philip Mann that Hilditch be remanded in custody until such an assessment was made.

Mr Allan said it was a question of breaking the cycle and “locking him up doesn’t seem to do that”.

Contact with the community mental health team had “not managed to get off the ground,” said Mr Allan explaining when Hilditch drank he offended again.

He said Hilditch thought it was okay to be intoxicated in his own home and things went out of control when he was in Yell and he started to drink again.

Sheriff Mann told Hilditch: “I have given you every possible opportunity that I can, many times against my better judgement.”

He said that he had hoped Hilditch would find “a firm resolve to stop acting in the way you have been acting”.

“The whole problem is drinking and when you are drinking you offend. You take a conscious decision to drink,” he said.

Sheriff Mann said he had no confidence that if he was to give Hilditch his liberty he would behave himself.

“I firmly believe until such time as you are able to access the necessary support, you will continue acting as you are acting,” he said.

Sheriff Mann added: “It’s behaviour that simply cannot be tolerated. I do not understand it. You do not understand it. But what I do understand is that the public deserves to be protected from somebody like you.”

He said only a custodial was sufficient.

The net result, if Hilditch was given early release could be 10 months, he said, which might be the same as Mr Allan’s suggestion and that he would be able to have an appointment with a psychologist for an assessment.

Hilditch had his sentence backdated to 24th April.