Christmas behind bars for repeat offender

A repeat offender will be spending Christmas behind bars after he was seen hanging around someone’s house for no good reason.

George Cruickshank, 32, of Nederdale, Lerwick, was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment when he appeared from custody on Wednesday before honorary sheriff Arnold Duncan.

Unemployed Cruickshank landed in hot water when residents at a house in Upper Sound heard a noise and saw him leaving their garage.

On being challenged he insisted he lived upstairs, which procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said was a lie.

They found items had been disturbed and called the police, who later tracked down Cruickshank nearby. The incident happened on 29th November.

Cruickshank was released on an undertaking, but failed to appear in court on 10th December.

Defence agent Chris Dowle said Cruickshank had little recollection of the incident. He said the accused had been staying at a guest house but was now living at his partner’s address.

He argued Cruickshank had not committed the most serious of offences, adding nothing had been stolen in the incident.

Cruickshank’s main problem, the court heard, was his long list of previous convictions.

“There was some disturbance of some items … but that was all, and he did leave on being asked to do so by the householders,” said Mr Dowle.

“Mr Cruickshank is very anxious that he not be remanded or given a prison sentence today.”

He added Cruickshank had not fully understood the requirements of him to attend court earlier this month after being released by police.

He added Cruickshank’s offending had been thinning out since 2012, although he could not deny he had a “formidable” record.

He urged honorary sheriff Duncan to impose a community-based disposal, stressing Cruickshank was willing to abide by a restriction of liberty.

However, Mr Duncan challenged the notion that the offence was at the lower end of the scale.

“It’s not a minor matter – anything but,” he said.

Honorary sheriff Duncan told Cruickshank: “I have taken into account both what your solicitor, Mr Dowle, has said with regards to the situation, the charges against you to which you pled guilty, and also the views of the procurator fiscal.

“There is little doubt you have a formidable criminal record, much of that being crimes of dishonesty.”

Allowing for the early plea he reduced the sentence from a total of 24 weeks.


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