Sheriff jails repeat offender and tells him he has run out of chances

A young man who carried out a string of offences is beginning a prison term stretching more than eight months.

Trevor Couper, 20, has been sentenced to 34-weeks in custody after testing the patience of sheriff Philip Mann.

Couper, of Cairnfield Road, Lerwick, landed in trouble most recently when he broke a curfew order just hours after it was imposed.

The special condition had been handed to Couper after he admitted breaching the peace in the town’s Esplanade on 16th October.

As a result he was taken into custody until yesterday’s court appearance.

But Couper also admitted trying to force entry to a house at Grostane in the town on 27th December last year, and threatening occupants while he was on bail.

He also hammered on a Grostane door in November, ran away from police to avoid being caught and – once he was caught – struggled violently with them.

Couper admitted breaching bail conditions that he was not to be under the influence of alcohol both in December and in March.

In April he stole a bottle of Jagermeister from the Co-op in Lerwick, also while he was on bail.

The court heard Couper had already spent 16 days in custody since he was held in remand.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Couper had “not enjoyed” his experience behind bars, which had confirmed prison was not where he wanted to spend his time.

He said Couper had managed to control his use of alchohol and “legal highs”, such as Mary Joys, which had previously got out of control.

“Trevor Couper knows, and he’s been told by me plenty of times, that it’s a bad idea for him to be drinking. It only leads him to trouble,” said Mr Allan.

He pointed to a background report which said Couper’s rate of offending was in decline.

However, sheriff Mann was less than impressed with Couper’s behaviour.

“The problem for you is that you have been given many, many chances – not only by me but by my predecessor in this court,” he told Couper.

“There is always this protestation that you have learned your lessons and you are very sorry and you realise your offending be­haviour has to stop. You seem to be hanging your hat on this thing that your rate of offending has decreased. That’s fine, but it’s not enough. You’re the only one that can stop your offending.”

He added the breach of bail in October just hours after the order was imposed showed Couper had “no interest” in complying with court orders. That, the sheriff said, gave him no confidence that Couper would comply with a community-based disposal.


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.