Two men who stole from “elderly and vulnerable” people were warned they were facing prison when they appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court today.
Lithuanians Tomas Levandacius, 27, of King Harald Street, and Nerijos Kalkauskas, 30, of Cheyne Crescent were told not to “assume you are going anywhere other than Aberdeen prison” by sheriff Graeme Napier when they appeared in the dock from custody.
The warning came after Levandacius admitted taking a wallet containing £275 from an 85-year-old man in sheltered housing accommodation in Burgh Road at around 3.30am on Sunday.
He and Kalkauskas also helped themselves to a television and watch from a separate home in the housing complex.
Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the elderly man was awakened from his sleep by the noise of somebody in the house. He saw a figure standing in the doorway.
“The figure fled and the householder discovered his wallet and its contents of £275 was missing,” Mr MacKenzie said.
On being called police “descended” on the area, and both accused were caught nearby after “a short foot-chase”.
At the time a television was recovered. Officers searched the area and found the door to one of the houses lying open.
“It would be obvious to the casual observer that these houses are of the type occupied by elderly or vulnerable people due to the obvious provision of disabled ramps, hand-rails etc, on the exterior of the buildings,” Mr MacKenzie added.
Defence agent Tommy Allan admitted it was a “despicable” crime against vulnerable people. He said drink was a feature in the offence. Levandacius had no recollection of ever carrying out the deed.
Kalkauskas has only one previous conviction, he said. He is also paying money to support his daughter in Ireland. Levandacius provides support for his girlfriend and his mother.
However, sheriff Napier said: “I can’t see any option, other than a significant custodial sentence, for this hugely worrying offence.
“Given that you have not got a record, in one case, and a significant record in the other case, I will allow you your liberty at present. But you should not assume you will be going anywhere, other than to Aberdeen prison.
“This is one of the most awful cases I have dealt with, in many ways. These were vulnerable people, and you took advantage of that.”
The sheriff released the two men on bail with special conditions. They are banned from entering Burgh Road, and neither of them can be drunk in public. They will have to provide a breath test if required to do so.
“I can’t think of anything worse than, if I was a victim of these offences, seeing one of you two going down the road,” sheriff Napier added.
They will reappear in court on 15th June.