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Hilditch’s 20-month jail term no miscarriage of justice

A LOCAL serial offender has failed in his bid to have his jail term cut.

Back in May, Nathan Hilditch had been sent to jail for 20 months for a string of crimes – including obstructing police and making almost 30 bogus 999 calls.

The 22 year-old – who already had a lengthy list of convictions – had once been branded a “total menace” by a sheriff.

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Hilditch returned to the dock during a sitting of the sheriff appeal court at the High Court in Glasgow, on Wednesday.

His lawyers argued the sentence imposed by Lerwick Sheriff Court had been too strict.

But, the attempt to get a lighter prison term was thrown out after Sheriff Principal Mhairi Stephen QC ruled there had been “no miscarriage of justice”.

Hilditch had earlier pled guilty to violently struggling with police officers, making 28 nuisance emergency calls and breaching bail.

He also admitted “culpably and recklessly” running in front of a moving car.

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The court at the time heard Hilditch was “not able to control himself” when he had been drinking.

His lawyer John Keenan told the appeal court hearing that the 20-month sentence had been “excessive”.

Sheriff Stephen QC said Hilditch was “fairly well known in the community” with an “unenviable record” of offending.

She added it appeared the sentencing sheriff had been “at the end of his tether” with him.

The court also heard Hilditch had a “hopeless addiction” to alcohol which sparked his crime sprees.

Delivering her decision, Sheriff Stephen said: “The question is whether the sentence is excessive and does this point to a miscarriage of justice.

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“The main aim was to protect the public from his offending, which has become persistent.

“The sentencing sheriff is dealing with an island community where police resources are finite.

“This is a local sheriff on an island, who is well placed to judge the impact of this behaviour on the community.

“He (Hilditch) should know that the courts regard these offences as serious.

“He was repeatedly warned about the consequences should he continue to drink and offend.

“The local community police and control room also deserve some respite from this behaviour.

“It does not lead to the conclusion that there has been a miscarriage of justice.”

Grant McCabe, Glasgow  Court Press Agency

 

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