Sullom worker who tried to torch car told to leave within 24 hours

An act of “simple wickedness” led to a man who appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court today being told to leave Shetland within 24 hours.

Dean Armstrong, 27, of Bridge Road, Lynemouth, Northumberland, pleaded guilty to wilfully or recklessly destroying or damaging a car in Runafirth, Brae, on Sunday. A not guilty plea to attempting to take the car away was accepted.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the “strange” offence had taken place after Armstrong had been drinking, but not to the extent that he was unaware of what he was doing.

Armstrong admitted entering an unlocked car, ripping out the stereo system, breaking off the ignition cowling and trying to set fire to it. The fire did not take and he poured oil on the seat, but it still did not take. He caused damage estimated at £700 but could not explain his actions.

Mr MacKenzie said: “This sort of behaviour reveals a deep-seated wickedness, it’s quite concerning.”

Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said that Armstrong, who has been working at Sullom, believed he could be suffering from depression. Mr Allan said that Armstrong expected to lose his job through his “bizarre” behaviour, but had an opportunity to go south.

Honorary sheriff Arnold Duncan said it was a “very serious” offence, and released Armstrong on bail, with the special condition he left Shetland in 24 hours. He is only to return to appear in court, which he will do on 11th July.


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