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Man took cannabis on ferry

A MAN from Lerwick who took £2,500 worth of cannabis on the NorthLink ferry after buying it in Aberdeen has been placed under supervision and given unpaid work to complete.

Ian Mutch, of St Olaf St, previously admitted 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 pleaded guilty to stealing a rucksack from a shared cabin on the boat on the same day.

Mutch, who had only just been released from prison, was sent back behind bars in October after being given a five-month return order, and sentencing for offences were deferred.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday that Mutch travelled to Aberdeen to buy 149.6 grams of cannabis.

He had been sharing a cabin with a man he did not know, and when his cabin-mate went for a look elsewhere on the boat, the 25 year old removed items from the man’s rucksack and put in his cannabis.

Mutch took the bag and put it in left luggage, and when the other occupant returned to the cabin, he claimed the items had been stolen.

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

Defence agent Tommy Allan admitted that “dishonesty has been a feature of [Mutch’s] behaviour”, but added that he had a “number of other difficulties”.

The solicitor suggested that a social work report was a “quite positive” about his behaviour since the offence.

“He’s engaged more than he had before with those trying to help him,” Allan said.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said taking a “large quantity” of cannabis from the mainland to Shetland was a “serious matter”, but he added that there may have been pressure on Mutch to collect the drugs.

“I’m aware how you may have been put upon to carry out this act,” he added.

The sheriff placed Mutch under supervision for 18 months and ordered him to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

The community payback order will be reviewed in June.