A NIGHT of craziness has landed a former mechanic from Shetland back behind bars just he was starting to pull himself out of his damaging addiction to hard drugs.
At Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday, 27 year old Matthew Smith was sent to prison for 30 weeks and banned from driving for six years after he admitted a string of offences stemming from the same incident.
Smith, a repeat offender who has made regular appearances in the dock over the last few years, had been rebuilding his life after coming off heroin, re-establishing contact with his son and returning to his family home at 1 Robertson Crescent, Lerwick.
However on 4 November things went drastically wrong when he went to babysit his son for his former partner at a house in Lerwick’s Millgaet.
Having become intoxicated on either drink or drugs, Smith took the woman’s car for a drive without her permission.
A female passenger he took with him told police later he was so intoxicated he could not change gears and she had to do it for him.
Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the terrified woman somehow managed to alert the police who swiftly apprehended Smith on Lerwick’s Nedersund Road.
Matters got worse when Smith refused to co-operate with the police.
“The penny just hasn’t dropped with him that that sort of attitude leaves him racking up charge after charge after charge,” Mackenzie said.
Appearing from custody, Smith admitted eight charges including taking the car, driving while unfit through drink or drugs, driving while disqualified, without insurance and refusing to give breath or urine samples to the police.
Defending, Tommy Allan spoke up for the progress Smith had been making since being convicted of his second drink driving offence in May this year.
He had even voluntarily completed more than the 200 hours community service he had been ordered to complete.
Allan said when he first met Smith a few years ago he was a hard working mechanic valued by his employer who had since been brought down by his addiction to drugs.
However now he was almost clear of his methadone reduction programme, was back in touch with his family and his son, and had a real prospect of employment in the new year.
“There is no reason to put before the court why he should put all these things into jeopardy and take such a backward step. It was just a piece of craziness,” Allan said.
“Despite this set back he is on the right road to get back into full time employment, being drug free and being a productive member of society and a useful parent to his son.”
After leaving his bench for half an hour to consider the case, Sheriff Philip Mann said he had offered Smith a community sentence last time because prison had not been successful, but now he had no option but to send him back to jail.
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