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Court / Lerwick man narrowly avoids jail sentence

A THIRTY six year old man has avoided a jail term and been ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work after admitting to supplying cannabis and diazepam.

Barry Dutton, of Lerwick’s Bank Lane, was sentenced at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

He had previously admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis, a class B drug, between June and November 2019 and diazepam between June and December of the same year.

Last month the court heard that around 3,000 tablets with a value of around £1 each had been discovered, but defence agent Tommy Allan said that cumulative total would normally be bought in bulk and would have been worth considerably less.

He said Dutton was working with the substance misuse recovery service and urged Sheriff Ian Cruickshank to allow that work to continue, adding his client was “mindful” that any failure to cooperate with an alternative sentence was likely to land him in custody.

Sheriff Cruickshank said the offences were serious in nature, but he was content to impose a community payback order with a supervision requirement for two years.

Dutton must also complete the 200 hours within 12 months, and the sheriff also imposed a conduct requirement meaning he must attend drug screening tests and appointments as required by the substance misuse scheme.

He warned Dutton that the punishment was imposed as a custodial sentence and if the community payback order was breached “without reasonable excuse” then “other sentencing options will be required”.