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Jail for fire raising at St Clements

Fire fighters from Lerwick and Scalloway were called out to extinguish the blaze at St Clements Hall on 20 October last year - Photo Austin Taylor

A YOUNG Shetland man has been sent to jail for starting a fire in a listed building in Lerwick that caused substantial damage to the historic property.

Lee Hamilton, of 1 Ladies Drive, Lerwick, and his twin brother Drew previously admitted causing a blaze in the 100 year old St Clement’s Hall on St Olaf Street on 20 October 2014 by setting fire to a couch.

The 20 year olds also admitted maliciously smashing a number of windows and mirrors in the building, as well as hammering holes in the floor and walls.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday, procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the fire was “potentially catastrophic”, but did not cause any injuries.

The twins fled the scene after the fire spread through the ground floor.

The hall, which is located just metres away from a care home, suffered thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Lee Hamilton’s defence agent Tommy Allan said the incident was “drunken mischief-making” and “a carry on that went way too far”.

Sheriff Philip Mann said he might have been persuaded to give Lee Hamilton, who was appearing from custody, an alternative to prison.

However his substantial criminal record led the sheriff to jail the 20 year old for one year, backdated to 12 November when he was first locked up.

He received a further six months for other offences, including breaching bail conditions.

His twin Drew, who lives at 89 St Olaf St, Lerwick, was spared jail.

His defence agent Gregor Kelly said he recognised the need to “escape the past”, and a recently completed period of unpaid work had been “hugely beneficial”.

He added that his client was distancing himself from bad influences, including his mother and brother.

Drew Hamilton was placed under supervision for 18 months and given 200 hours of unpaid work to complete.

The 20 year old has also been placed under curfew and must stay at his home between 7am and 7pm seven days a week for four months.