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Paterson imprisoned for obstructing officers

A MAN from Lerwick who was found guilty of obstructing police officers and swallowing suspected drugs while in custody has been sent to prison for seven months.

Ryan Paterson, of Ronald Street, was found guilty of three charges relating to offences said to have taken place on 5 and 6 February following a trial at Lerwick Sheriff Court in October, with the 27 year old initially denying them.

He was found to have intentionally obstructed two constables at Lerwick’s North Road on 5 February by refusing to remove his hands from his trouser pockets, attempting to run away from them and repeatedly striking them on the body.

Paterson was also convicted of placing an item suspected to contain a controlled drug in his mouth at Lerwick Police Station on the same day, refusing to remove it and then swallowing it with the intention of perverting the course of justice.

He also denied shouting and swearing at the station on 6 February, with the offence aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation.

Paterson, who was representing himself, had previously pleaded guilty to maliciously blocking a toilet at the station on 5 February with papers cups and causing it to flood by repeatedly flushing it.

The court previously heard that Paterson became “instantly aggressive and uncooperative” when police stopped him on Lerwick’s North Road because they thought he might have been a witness to an assault.

He refused to comply with a search and was taken to Lerwick Police Station – before being moved to an observation cell after attempting to climb over the fixtures when his charge was being processed.

Paterson was then seen putting a mattress in front of the cell’s camera but his hands were seen “manipulating” something.

Officers tried to search Paterson and they saw a “wrap” inside his mouth suspected to be of drugs but he resisted and made a swallowing motion.

The court also heard that when two male officers tried to wake up Paterson at around 5.30am to collect fingerprints and DNA and take a photo, he shouted offensive remarks.

Paterson had suggested to Sheriff Philip Mann that his “rights were abused” by officers trying to search him in public, while he denied having anything in his mouth in the cell.

During sentencing on Wednesday, Sheriff Mann said given Paterson’s record and the circumstances of the offences, there was no alternative to custody.

“It’s time you took a tumble to yourself,” the sheriff said after giving out the seven-month sentence.

“You can’t just carry on like this, because if you do, the future is bleak.”