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Maclean has had his chips

AN UNEMPLOYED Shetland man who was allowed half an hour of freedom from his electronic tag to get a free chip supper was in court again yesterday (Wednesday) for breaching his restriction of liberty order.

In May 35 year old Martin Maclean had been placed on probation for 18 months and tagged for three months after admitting to breaking into hotel rooms at Lerwick’s Grand Hotel and stealing several items including a mobile phone, a suitcase and a wristwatch.

Two weeks ago he was back in court after he had breached his order several times to get free chips from the Harbour Fish & Chip Shop near his temporary council flat in Lerwick’s Pitt Lane.

At the time Sheriff Graeme Napier allowed him a half hour between 10.45pm and 11.15pm to let him carry on getting his free supper.

But yesterday he was back in front of the sheriff after breaching his tagging order once again.

This time Maclean told the court he had moved into permanent accommodation at 10 Norgaet, Lerwick, but instead of informing security company Serco of the move he had simply unplugged the electronic device from his flat, carried it across town in a plastic bag and plugged it back in again.

Sheriff Napier told Maclean that he had initially thought he was a “chancer” who had gone too far. “That was before I heard your story, which is so bizarre I am willing to accept there’s an element of truth in it,” he said.

When he told Mr Maclean that he should have discussed the move with his supervising officer, he replied: “I am sorry. It must have slipped my mind.”

The sheriff extended the tagging order for two weeks, and removed the half hour freedom he had for free chips.

“I presume now that you have moved you don’t have time to visit your friendly carry out lady,” the sheriff said.

“I wouldn’t have time for that,” Maclean replied.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021