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Return to prison for cannabis supplier

A MAN from Lerwick who took £2,500 worth of cannabis on the NorthLink ferry after buying it in Aberdeen has been sent back to prison for five months to complete a previous jail term ahead of being sentenced for his latest crimes.

Ian Mutch, of St Olaf St, previously appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court to admit being concerned in the supply of the class B drug on the Hrossey on 3 October as it travelled from Aberdeen to Shetland.

The 25 year old also admitted stealing a rucksack from a shared cabin on the boat on the same day.

Mutch, who had only been released from prison, was given a five month return order on Wednesday by Sheriff Philip Mann, while sentencing for these latest offences has been deferred until 28 March next year.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Mutch – who again appeared from custody – had been sharing a cabin with a man he did not know.

When his cabin-mate left to get some food, the 25 year old removed items from the man’s rucksack and put in his cannabis.

When the other traveller returned to the cabin it became clear to him that his rucksack had been removed.

After raising the issue with staff, CCTV footage showed Mutch putting the bag in a storage facility.

Mackenzie said that Mutch had gone to Aberdeen to source the Class B drugs.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said the offences were committed during a “brief window of liberty” after his client’s previous jail sentence ended early.

Although a social work report concluded that Mutch “has the capacity to know what’s right or wrong”, Allan continued by saying that his client didn’t always make the “correct decisions” – especially when it related to financial gain for himself.

Allan went on to say that there was no doubt that his client was “preyed upon” by people, who he met while in custody, to assist in the selling of drugs.

The solicitor described the three weeks Mutch had spent in custody on remand on the matter as “torture”, and added that his client would be at risk of being “further exposed” to bad influences should he be put back to behind bars.

But Sheriff Mann said it was “very seldom” that he would dispose of a case like this without a custodial sentence.

He issued a return order for five months, meaning that Mutch could be released early after half the time and would have two and half months to show good behaviour.

The sheriff, who said he would consider “all options” come sentencing in March, also asked for an updated criminal justice social work report to be prepared.