Teenager fined for stealing to feed heroin habit

A teenager who went on a thieving spree to help fund his heroin habit was fined £300 at Lerwick Sheriff Court today.

Andrew Cumming, 19, of Kirkidale in Walls, had previously admitted stealing keys and around £20 in cash from a flat in Lerwick’s Union Street in April. He also pinched £9 from a house in South Lochside.

The following month he stole food from the Co-op in Lerwick, breaching the terms of his bail conditions.

Sentence had been deferred until last Wednesday. However Cumming failed to turn up in court on the day, despite attempts by defence agent Tommy Allan to get in touch with him.

Cumming was subsequently caught and taken into custody over the weekend.

The court heard Cumming had been pinning his hopes on a place in the Papa Stour project, although imminent closure of the centre meant he was now unable to go there.

Representing Cumming on Monday, agent Chris Dowle said background reports looked favourable.

He said Cumming had told him he had overcome his habit, and was helping out on his father’s croft in Walls.

Referring to Cumming’s failure to appear last week, procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said he “takes the approach of an ostrich when confronting his problems”.

He said Cumming had made some progress when addressing his addiction.

Sheriff Daniel Kelly said it was appropriate to bring the case to an end, but warned Cumming he would face a possible custodial sentence if there was any repeat of the offence.


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