A man who admitted stealing two bottles of vodka from a Lerwick supermarket because he wanted money to pay for his electricity bill is today beginning a four-month prison sentence.
Adam Nelson, 24, of Sandside in Mossbank, pleaded guilty to helping himself to the spirits from the Co-op on 25th April when he appeared before sheriff Philip Mann.
Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the incident was a “fairly straightforward shop-lifting”, which had nothing to do with Nelson’s history of drug misuse. “This offence was committed simply because he is a thief,” Mr MacKenzie told the court.
Defence agent Tommy Allan said Nelson had committed the offence because he had no money for his electricity. “He says he is not somebody who drinks vodka, but he hoped to get it moved so he could heat his flat and cook his food. He says there is no such thing as crisis payments any more.”
Nelson failed to do himself any favours by turning up late for court, Mr Allan said, and shortly after a warrant was issued for his arrest. However, Mr Allan added that Nelson deserved some credit for turning up in court, albeit late. He insisted Nelson was trying to turn his life around and was hoping to gain admission into rehab to address his dependency on methadone.
Nelson also had hopes of starting work with the Moving On employment project. Mr Allan urged sheriff Philip Mann to “pause” before sending Nelson to jail.
However, the sheriff was not persuaded that a non-custodial sentence was the way forward, and insisted he had “no alternative” but to impose a prison sentence.