Sex act man spared prison sentence by sheriff

A man who went into a woman’s bedroom and performed a sex act in her bed has been spared a jail term.

Instead Peter Hall, 24, of Ladies Drive in Lerwick, was ordered to wear a tag for 12 months when he appeared for sentence today at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

Hall was also handed a three year community payback order and told to remain on the sex offenders’ register during that time. He has also been banned from entering Sandveien, where the offence took place, and warned not to commit any new offences.

Sentence had been deferred on Hall after he disturbed a bed and stole clothes and photographs from a house in February.

The woman and her partner were in a neighbour’s house at the time. They dialled 999 after seeing Hall through a window in their own bedroom.

Inside the house kitchen cupboards and the fridge were left open and items of the woman’s clothing were left lying on the bedroom floor. It emerged Hall had fled the house wearing one of the woman’s dresses. Challenged later, he claimed the clothing was actually chef’s whites belonging to his mother.

Hall had later landed in trouble again when he failed to keep social work appointments. He was then kept in custody until today’s hearing.

Sheriff Graeme Napier said the question of whether Hall could be trusted with his liberty was “a balancing act”.

He said Hall was a “high risk offender” who would cost tens of thousands of pounds for the community to monitor if he was spared custody.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Hall would also prove expensive if he was locked up in prison. Hall, he said, was keen to “get to the bottom” of his behaviour, and was willing to co-operate.

He added Hall had served the equivalent of a two-month sentence since he was taken to Craiginches, where he had been locked up for 23 hours a day for his own protection.

Mr Allan said he had made clear to Hall what would happen if he failed in any of his objectives.

In the end the sheriff was persuaded Hall could be spared a prison term.

He told him: “There is no guarantee you would come out of a prison sentence having addressed the issues you face, whereas if you don’t address them you will be going to custody.”


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