Teenager avoids custody but his dog will be destroyed

A pit bull terrier has been signed over to the council’s environmental health department to be destroyed after a teenager allegedly failed to prevent the dog from going out of control.

Shaun Smith, 17, of Ladies Drive, Lerwick, narrowly avoided being held in remand when he appeared from custody in the dock earlier today. However, he was warned to comply with a curfew order or face losing his liberty.

He is charged with telling the dog to “sick him” before unclipping its lead and pushing it towards a man at Da Vadill flats at Grantfield, Lerwick on 28th July, breaching his bail conditions.

He is also accused of failing to comply with a dog control notice which required him to implant the animal with an electronic transponder and keep it muzzled and on a lead.

Mr Smith is charged with letting the animal enter a garden at the town’s Cheyne Crescent and attacking a springer spaniel before biting a man, injuring both. That incident is alleged to have happened on 10th July.

He is also facing a charge of allegedly resisting police and running away from them on Friday, locking himself in a room and preventing them from getting near him.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court today his case was continued without plea until 24th August. Acting procurator fiscal Kathryn Gordon opposed bail, citing his previous convictions and likelihood to reoffend as reason for holding him in remand.

She called on honorary sheriff Malcolm Bell to have the dog officially signed over to environmental health – who currently have possession of the animal – should bail be granted. “The obvious wish is to have the dog destroyed,” she said.

Defence agent Vaila Pearson said Mr Smith had a job interview with the bike project. She added his father was willing to take him on to help in a building project in Yell for two to three days a week. She added that Mr Smith was willing to comply with the terms of a curfew order requiring him to stay indoors during the evenings.

Honorary sheriff Malcolm Bell told him: “I am going to continue this case without plea, as has been requested.

“I’ve listened to what your agent and the procurator fiscal have said, and I’m going to take a risk here – I’m going to grant you bail. But don’t let me down, because if you do you will end up back here and you will be sent to prison.”

The sheriff ordered Smith to comply with a curfew keeping him indoors between 7pm and 7am.


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.