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Court / Unpaid work for man who groomed girl

A MAN has received a sentence of 180 hours of unpaid work for attempting to groom a 15-year-old girl who was in care.

Part of Ellis Birnie’s sentence was also for threatening a woman with a knife and possessing a knife or multitool in a public place.

The 25-year-old, of Sandveien, was said to have “a number of complex needs” by defence agent Tommy Allan in Lerwick Sheriff Court yesterday.

Birnie admitted making indecent video communications with the girl between 15 August and 4 September last year and with trying to arrange a meeting with her with a view to having sex.

He also admitted brandishing a knife at a woman and threatening to stab her partner on 31 January, whilst having been bailed on 15 January.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank sentenced Birnie to two years’ supervision with 80 hours community payback for the grooming offence and 100 hours for threatening and abusive behaviour, as an alternative to custody. He was put on the sex offender’s register at an earlier hearing.