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Spiteful vandalism

AN UNEMPLOYED joiner who slashed four car tyres and destroyed two T shirts belonging to a man he did not trust pled guilty to reckless damage at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Francis Whyte, aged 41, of 14 King Harald Street, Lerwick, admitted causing the damage outside a house in the Nederdale area of the town.

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Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the crime had been premeditated, and he had even told a friend what he was about to do, though he “adamantly” denied any involvement when approached by the police.

“It was not a spontaneous act, it seems to have been planned, he acted purely out of spite,” the fiscal said.

Mr Mackenzie said Whyte was working as a night porter on 5 June when the damage, whose value was put at £340, was carried out. He said Whyte blamed the man and his partner for the breakdown of his relationship, but defence agent Tommy Allan said there were other reasons behind the attack.

Whyte, who has two young children to his ex partner, had left Shetland to work as a joiner in a friend’s business venture, but had been laid off due to a spinal injury caused by his experience playing rugby years ago.

Sheriff Graeme Napier deferred sentence for reports saying that he would be looking for alternatives to custody for the offence, which carries a maximum three month prison sentence.

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