Teenager freed on bail after admitting theft of quad bike

An “immature” teenager who stole a quad bike and took his mother’s car after his hopes of joining the army were dashed narrowly avoided being held on remand when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

Instead James Maloney, 17, of Hoofields, Lerwick, must wait until next month before hearing what Sheriff Graeme Napier decides to do with him.

Appearing from custody on Monday, Maloney admitted taking the Honda quad bike on 8th November before driving it with no licence or insurance on the A970 around Brae. He also attempted to take a Suzuki quad from a different address in Brae on the same date.

Two months later Maloney took his mother’s car from Brae’s Housaquoy. He failed to negotiate a bend in the road at Firth and drove into a ditch.

He was taken into custody on Saturday night for obstructing a policeman at the Viking bus station, standing in front of a police car and repeatedly refusing to move.

At the police station he made a scene in front of the same officer, threatening to head-butt him.

The court heard Maloney had been unemployed since leaving school “two or three years ago”, despite making attempts to join the army.

He only just passed the army’s entry exam which caused a delay in him being signed up. In the meantime he has failed to stay out of trouble, and the army is not interested in him any more.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Maloney had been hanging around with a group of children younger than himself before his most recent arrest, and had stood to defend an under-age member of his gang after police confiscated some tobacco. “He was out simply showing off in front of his wee palls.”

Defence agent Tommy Allan said the army had turned Maloney down because he was “not mature enough”.

He said Maloney had been trying to find work and had recently put applications in to two fish factories.

However Sheriff Napier was anxious to know how Maloney has been filling in his time since leaving school. “What has he been doing in the meantime if he’s not been accepted by the army?”

He reluctantly gave Maloney bail, ordering him to return to court on 24th February once background reports have been compiled.


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