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Court / Pottinger given unpaid work for growing cannabis plants

A SHETLAND serial offender was lucky to escape jail when he appeared for sentencing at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday after admitting producing cannabis at his home address in the north mainland.

Jason Pottinger of Sandside, Mossbank was instead ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work within a three-month period.

The court heard that the 32-year-old had fully cooperated after police found four cannabis saplings and five small cannabis plants when searching his home on 1 June.

Referring to Pottinger’s extensive criminal record procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie acknowledged that this was a small cultivation of the class B drug which was mainly for self-medication purposes with no commercial element.

Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said his client had been struggling with drug addiction most of his adult life, and while he had managed to get clean from heroin last year, he found it difficult give up cannabis.

Allan said Pottinger had successfully completed a drug treatment and testing order.

Asking for leniency for his client the solicitor said Pottinger was more valuable to the community by being out doing work rather than being in prison watching television.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said Pottinger had a “horrendous previous record for many types of offending”, and added that – on this occasion – he was prepared not to send him to jail and instead impose a community payback order.

The sheriff also ordered the forfeiture of all items connected to the offence.