Man with needle is given 10 months

A repeat offender has been sentenced to a total of 10 months in prison after he was found outside an address without lawful authority.

John Gibson, 38, of Lerwick’s Bruce Crescent claimed to have been looking for a piece of wood to cover damage made to a wall by his partner after she had discovered him suffering from an overdose in her toilet.

But he landed in further trouble when police unwittingly discovered an uncapped hypodermic needle in his jacket pocket – despite his previous insistence that he had nothing sharp on him.

Gibson admitted being in the area of 25 Leslie Road without lawful authority on 6th December when he appeared from custody today before sheriff Philip Mann.

He also admitted telling police he had no sharp implement on him prior to being legally searched – despite knowing he had the needle in his pocket. The offences were committed while he was on bail.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said police were called after a neighbour saw him shining a torch in the area.

He added that police asked if he was carrying anything sharp prior to a search. Gibson had said he was not.

Mr MacKenzie said that was not true, and the uncapped needle consequently brushed the officer’s skin, although it did not penetrate it.

“He had an opportunity to apologise, but he didn’t do it,” the fiscal said.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Gibson had been at his partner’s addressed, where he had overdosed on drugs in the toilet. She had been forced to break in to rescue him. Thereafter, he was looking for wood to cover the hole in the wall.

“But he accepts it would give the impression he was out to steal something.”

He said the address shared an alleyway with his partner’s home.

Mr Allan added Gibson was still suffering from the effects of the overdose when he was spoken to by police, and was not thinking clearly at the time.

Addressing the sheriff himself, Gibson said he had not seen the officer concerned to apologise directly.

However, that had Mr MacKenzie on his feet. “The police officer was standing next to him at the charge bar,” he told the court. “That is an out and out lie.”

Sheriff Philip Mann sentenced him to four months for the first charge, and six months for the complaint involving the needle.


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