Police under fire for keeping drink driver in custody over weekend

Police were criticised for holding a man in custody over the weekend after they arrested him for drink driving – although that did not save the first-time offender from a two-year driving ban.

Sheriff Graeme Napier said Michael Thomas Herridge, 29, of Heylor in Hillswick, should have been allowed his liberty until his court appearance on Monday.

Herridge, who has never been in trouble with the law, was detained after driving his mother’s car on the A970 at around 2am on Saturday morning. He was kept in the cells until his case was called at around noon on Monday.

Questioned by the sheriff, defence agent Tommy Allan said Herridge was not released on bail by police and had no previous convictions.

“He said he had been a ‘bloody idiot’ and it certainly wouldn’t be happening again. He co-operated with police at all times,” said Mr Allan.

The defence agent said fisherman Herridge had been unemployed since injuring his hand in December.

However he was now deemed fit to work and had been asked to return to the fishing. He would be able to pay a fine, the court heard.

Sheriff Napier said: “I’ve already made my views clear about the failure by Northern Constabulary to consider bail in cases like these.”

Disqualifying him for two years, he offered Herridge the chance to reduce his ban by six months if he completed a drink driving rehabilitation course. “You were certainly more than twice the limit,” he said.

Herridge was also fined £700, reduced from £1,000 to reflect his time in custody.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.