Five months jail for thieving

A man with a record “littered” with offences of dishonesty has been jailed for five months after he pilfered goods from two Lerwick shops.

Simon Edwards, 41, of Hoofields, stole two gift sets from Boots on 17th December.

But his thieving did not stop and he helped himself to four computer games from Tesco four days later.

Edwards also stole a hooded top from Cee and Jays in the town on 20th October.

In the dock today Edwards admitted riding a motorcycle on Ladies Drive while unfit to do so through drink or drugs. He also refused to provide a specimen of blood after being taken to the police station.

Edwards admitted committing the offences while on bail. He spent the festive period on remand after being arrested before Christmas, and appeared today for sentence following the preparation of a social work report.

Defence agent Tommy Allan agreed Edwards had an extensive record.

Adding the background report was “an honest one” he said Edwards was maturing, in age, himself. He drew sheriff Philip Mann’s attention to a section of the report, in which Edwards admitted he was “too old for this”.

“He’s spent some time in custody now. He’s been in custody since before Christmas. It’s not a place for someone of his age,” said Mr Allan.

He added Edwards had attended a skills centre, where he had been “quite well thought of”, and had managed to get involved in teaching other people there.

Referring to the offence involving the motorbike, he said the machine had belonged to one of Edwards’ friends. Edwards had taken it a short distance.

“He was not in a fit state to do so,” added Mr Allan.

The defence agent said the shoplifting had happened when Edwards’ life was “unravelling”.

“He [Edwards] needs to make sure he doesn’t get into that kind of thing again.”

Mr Allan urged the sheriff to consider alternatives to a custodial sentence.

But Sheriff Mann was not impressed. He told Edwards: “The problem for you is you do have a considerable record, although some of it is a bit historical, but your record is littered with offences of dishonesty.

“Whereas in a lot of cases of shoplifting, the driving force is a lack of money or a need to eat … in at least one of these cases what motivated you was to provide a gift for your girlfriend. You just walked into a store and stole for that purpose. In my view at least, that merits a custodial sentence, given your record.”

His custodial term is backdated to 22nd December, when Edwards was remanded. But he was also disqualified from driving for two years for the motoring offences. Moreover, he was placed under supervision for a year and ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work – the maximum amount that can be imposed.

Of that, 180 hours were given to him as an alternative to fines Edwards had failed to pay.


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