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Court round up

A LERWICK man caught pushing a lawnmower around the town just before 1am last summer has been convicted of theft.

Thirty four year old John Neill, of Mounthooly Street, admitted taking the lawnmover, two screwdrivers, a craft knife and a roll of masking tape from an address at the town’s Ronald Street on 7 August.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Neill had been spotted by an off-duty police officer and had claimed he was going to cut his grass. Realising he had been caught, Neill had then returned the lawnmower.

A search warrant was granted and the other items were recovered from his home.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Neill was grieving the death of a friend and had been drinking heavily.

Sheriff Philip Mann deferred sentence until 18 February for social work reports to be prepared, warning Neill he had previously been imprisoned for theft and housebreaking.


A motorcyclist broke his leg and required the insertion of a metal pin after a retired nurse failed to see him when she was pulling out of a Lerwick car park.

Seventy one year old Margaret Millar, of the town’s Soldian Court, pleaded guilty to driving without due care or attention when exiting the Toll Clock Shopping Centre car park onto North Road on 14 October 2013.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard that Millar, who had held a driving licence for 49 years without incident, simply had not seen the motorbike.

She has since been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and her licence has been revoked. The court heard that she had stayed with the man until medics arrived and was “very upset” by the result of her actions.

Sheriff Mann imposed six penalty points and fined Millar £400.


A receptionist who embezzled a total of £2,000 from Queens Hotel in Lerwick last summer has been ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard that Claire MacGilray, 32, of Waterloo, Walls, was “very remorseful”. Defence agent Tommy Allan said she was “so ashamed about this she is determined to pay back the money” irrespective of whether the court ordered her to do so.

Sheriff Mann said it was a “serious offence”, sentencing her to a 12-month community payback order and warning there was a “distinct possibility” of jail if it is breached.


Sentence has been deferred on a teenager who admitted possessing the drug ecstasy with intent to supply.

John Gray, 19, of Hoofields, Lerwick, was caught with the class A substance at his home on 27 June last year. He also admitted to possessing cannabis. He will reappear in court on 18 February.


Driving while almost four times the legal limit at Summerhill, Lower Voe on 21 December resulted in a 16-month driving ban for 21 year old Zai Vessey, of Havragord, Brae.

The HGV mechanic, whose job was “in the balance”, drove with 87mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The limit is 22mcg. He can reduce the period of disqualification by fourth months if he completes a drink driving awareness course.


A twenty eight year old was banned from driving for a year after admitting driving with 51mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Bela Szanyi, of Mail, Cunningsburgh, committed the offence at Lerwick’s South Road and on the A970 to Gulberwick on 30 November. At that time the legal limit was 35mcg. The sentence can be reduced by three months if Szanyi completes a drink driving awareness course.


In other cases:

  • Taking a car on the road without a driving licence, vehicle licence or insurance policy landed a Newcastle man with a six-month disqualification and £500 fine. Thirty two year old Lee Rannigan was caught at Gremista Road in Lerwick on 16 August last year.
  • Grant Gibson, 30, from Kilmarnock, who drove at speeds thought to have exceeded 90mph on the A970 at Tingwall on 4 October last year has been given six penalty points and a £500 fine.
  • Twenty seven year old Ryan Gibson, of Irvine, Ayrshire, has been handed four penalty points and fined £300 after admitting driving at 83mph in a 50mph on the A970 near Tingwall on 11 October last year.
  • Shouting, swearing and acting aggressively during a domestic on New Year’s Day led to 37 year old Paul Robertson being fined £150. He admitted having “stepped over the line” and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner at Lerwick’s Leslie Road, but the court heard Robertson and his partner had now “sorted things out”.
  • Two men who drove too fast near Cunningsburgh School in September were both fined £150 and handed three penalty points. Forty five year old Andrew Ross, of Ferncliff, Gutcher, was clocked at 38mph in a 20mph zone on the A970 on 22 September. A day later James Stanway, 23, of Banghurst, Tadley, was caught doing 37mph.