Man jailed for failing to attend community service

A man who breached his community service after being given “umpteen chances” was jailed for three months when he appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Monday.

David McKinnon, 26, of Ladies Drive, Lerwick, accepted he had not turned up to work on 18th and 19th December last year. The community service order had been imposed in July after McKinnon struggled with a nurse at the Gilbert Bain Hospital in July.

Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said that McKinnon knew he should have contacted his supervisor to check, as he had been aware he was supposed to work on these dates.

As he had previously breached the order a warrant was issued for his arrest. Police were unable to find him, however, as he had been visiting friends in Orkney.

Unaware that a warrant had been issued, McKinnon went to the police last Friday to say his benefit money had been stolen. He was detained.

Mr Allan said there was no evidence that McKinnon was still misusing alcohol or drugs and was in “better shape” than on some previous occasions and had no outstanding court cases.

He was still unemployed and had his own tenancy, which had the condition that McKinnon attend alcohol and drug services. Things were going well, said Mr Allan, and made a plea that McKinnon should not be sent to jail, which would set him back, and he should be allowed to demonstrate the improvement in his lifestyle.

But Sheriff Graeme Napier said that McKinnon had only done a couple of hours community service out of a sentence of 200 hours, which the sheriff described as “just nonsense”. He said he had had reservations when he imposed the community service order but now he was revoking it and imposing a jail sentence instead.


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