‘Habitual thief’ will have to spend Christmas in custody

A Lerwick resident has been remanded in custody after he admitted pilfering goods from two stores in the town.

Simon Edwards, 41, of Hoofields, stole two gift sets from Boots on 17th December. But his thieving did not stop and he went on to steal four computer games from Tesco yesterday. Both offences happened while he was on bail.

The regular offender admitted the charges when he appeared from custody today before honorary sheriff Arnold Duncan. The case was deferred until 21st January for background reports.

Defence agent Kathryn Gordon moved for bail. She said unemployed Edwards had applied for two jobs with the help of social workers. She added he had his own tenancy and was concerned about what would happen to his two dogs if he was to lose his liberty.

The court also heard that Edwards was due to appear as a witness in a trial scheduled to take place in court next month.

“He appreciates the list of previous convictions do not make good reading, but he is trying to better himself by applying for jobs,” Ms Gordon said.

However, procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie opposed bail. He said Edwards’ record showed him to be an “habitual thief”.

The fiscal added that Edwards had been on bail for a petition matter, and stressed there would be no problem bringing him to court for the trial where he is due to give evidence. He said it was a “common argument” to hear of someone facing custody to have a job opportunity emerging.

“Bail will not stop him from offending. If you release him on bail, he will offend again,” Mr MacKenzie said.

Denying Edwards his liberty, hon sheriff Duncan said: “There is a possibility you will commit further offences, and I also have to consider the nature and seriousness of the offences before the court, and the fact you were on a bail order. Given all these circumstances, I will now refuse bail.”


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