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Banned from driving for two years

A MAN from Weisdale has been banned from driving for two years for refusing to provide specimens of breath to police officers after he was found asleep in a parked car.

Witnesses said Mark Gibson, of Gardie, was in “such a state” after briefly exiting the vehicle opposite the Robinson and Morrison shop in Weisdale that “it was as if his legs did not belong to him”.

The 43-year-old’s car, which was worth around £1,500, was also forfeited by the authorities.

Gibson was banned at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday after previously admitted failing to provide samples at the town’s police station on 4 August.

He was also placed under supervision for nine months and given 120 hours of unpaid work to complete after previously admitting wilfully neglecting a child on the same day on the A971 in Weisdale, and being unfit to drive while being under the influence of alcohol.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the incident first came to light when elderly householders living nearby heard a “very distressed” child crying.

They noticed that it was coming from a vehicle in a bus stop across the road and saw Gibson in the car too.

Mackenzie said they sought assistance from a relative in the nearby shop and kept watch before discovering that the man in the car had fallen asleep.

Gibson left the car and relieved himself outside before going back in the vehicle, with the woman from the shop taking the keys out of the ignition.

However, the noise of the car starting was heard from the shop soon after, with the woman returning to take away what turned out to be a second set of keys.

Police were called and Mackenzie said that Gibson had a reading of “187” when he undertook an initial roadside screening test, with the limit being 22.

He was arrested and taken to Lerwick Police Station, but he refused to give a full sample to police, meaning officers could not fully ascertain his alcohol level.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client was “extremely grateful that no-one was hurt”.

He said on the day Gibson had received bad news about a relative – but this was not an excuse for his behaviour, he stressed.

Allan said the Gibson had been “shocked into abstinence” by the offence, which he described as “out of character”.

He said his client had lost his job as a result of the “dreadful mistake” he had made.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said he accepted that Gibson had displayed a “large degree of genuine remorse”.

But he said his alcohol reading would have been high if it had been taken by officers at the police station, and he agreed to also forfeit the vehicle to reflect the seriousness of the offence.