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‘Lower level’ sexual offences

A TWENTY one year old man has admitted sexually assaulting three 15 year old girls in his car at various Lerwick locations in January.

Christian Ulstad, of Asta, Scalloway, admitted “intentionally or recklessly” touching the girls sexually – one on 10 January at Gremista Industrial Estate and two on 23 January at Tesco, South Road, Staneyhill and elsewhere in the town.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday that each incident had been “broadly similar” – Ulstad befriended the young girls, who may have been attracted to him because he had a car.

The offences involved touching the girls over their clothing as he drove them around, and his advances were not welcomed, Mackenzie said.

He added that Ulstad’s crimes were “at the lower level of offending” and he had fully cooperated with the police.

Sheriff Philip Mann adjourned the matter until 29 April for a criminal justice social enquiry report to be prepared.

A THIRTY seven year old has pleaded guilty to entering a Gulberwick address uninvited and shouting and swearing.

Chris Smith, of Lower Hillside, Gulberwick, admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner on 22 July last year.

He also admitted driving a car without a licence or insurance on the B9073 Scalloway to Gulberwick road on the same date.

A woman woke at around 7.45am in her home and went downstairs to find him asleep on the floor.

She called the police and he was arrested, and found to be “highly intoxicated”, but there was no smell of alcohol.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Smith was deeply ashamed” and appreciated it must have been a frightening episode for the woman.

He said Smith had been involved in an accident where he lost a close friend – when a scallop boat they were in capsized and sank in March last year – which had deeply affected him and left him depressed.

Sheriff Mann fined Smith £250 for entering the house, a further £350 for the vehicle offences and disqualified him from holidng a driving licence for six months.

A regular offender who behaved in a threatening or abusive manner three times in a six-week period has been warned he is “in really hot water” ahead of sentencing at the end of this month.

Nathan Hilditch, of Horseshoe Close, Virkie, admitted repeatedly stepping into the road near his home and on Lerwick’s Commercial Street, forcing oncoming traffic to a halt and making threats to take his own life, on 22 December.

He also admitted banging on doors and windows, forcing his way into a house at Summerside, Virkie, and making threats on 9 January. On the same day, also at Summerside, he damaged property including smashing two windows – causing in excess of £600 worth of damage.

Hilditch also pleaded guilty to opening a car on Lerwick’s Commercial Road on 4 February, asking the occupants – who he did not know – about their religious beliefs, scaring a child in the car to tears.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said each incident involved Hilditch being drunk and behaving in an “incredibly moronic and stupid way” and being a menace to others.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client, who has an extensive criminal record, had cooperated “extensively” in getting the matter dealt with in court.

He said there had been a “change in character” since Hilditch’s most recent offence – and he acknowledged that by committing any more crimes he would effectively be “writing himself a ticket to custody”.

Sheriff Mann said he was concerned that Hilditch “continues to embark on a course of conduct that impacts quite heavily on the community at large”.

The sheriff warned him he could once more be looking at a custodial sentence. He ordered him to observe a curfew from 10pm to 7am and not to enter any licensed premises while he is on bail ahead of sentencing on 29 April.

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