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Court / ‘Irksome little pest’ escapes prison

A REPEAT offender dubbed an “irksome little pest” by the sheriff has been given 18 months supervision and 200 hours unpaid work as an alternative to prison.

Kyle Swannie, 22, of Bakland, Lerwick, earlier admitted behaving in a threatening and abusive manner to a Co-op staff member in Lerwick on 17 July after she asked to see proof of age.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday that Swannie called the woman a “rat” and threatened to smash her boyfriends face if he found out who he was.

According to procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie, the woman was “extremely frightened” and “ran off to a secure area of the store to get away from him.”

It was not the first time, the fiscal said, that Swannie had acted in such a way to a woman. He “took delight in threatening females” whether he was in a relationship with them or they were strangers. He had a previous conviction for threatening a woman outside Tesco.

Tommy Allan, defending, said that Swannie suffered from ADHD and had been better since going back on his medication. He had also realised that his behaviour was unacceptable.

Swannie, he said, had not had a “straight forward up bringing” and an element of support and supervision was what he needed and might need for some time.

At a previous hearing Swannie also admitted being in possession of a gramme of cannabis worth £5 on 10 September last year.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said: “Your report says that you are a low level repeat offender and that’s what would have been called an ‘irksome little pest’ and I would be entitled to send you to prison.”

Instead the sheriff gave him 18 months supervision and a community payback order of 200 hours unpaid work “as a direct alternative”. Swannie has six months to complete the work and the sheriff warned him if he did not comply, the order would be rescinded and he would go to jail.