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Thurso teenager is given last chance to avoid detention

By Court Reporter

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A Thurso teenager has been given a final chance to avoid a stint in a young offenders' institution.

He appeared for sentence at Wick Sheriff Court having previously admitted eight breaches of overnight curfews.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had spent the previous week on remand.

Procurator fiscal David Barclay said the youth was regularly found not observing the 7pm to 7am curfews, which were special conditions of bail.

On the latest occasion, on July 8, police discovered he was not at his grandmother's house, where he was living, at 9pm.

The officers tracked him down to another house in the town where he was trying to hide under a bed.

He committed seven breaches between April 12 and June 16 while staying with his mother.

Mr Barclay said the youth was often found in the company of people who frequently end up in court.

He said: "The accused is not being helped by hanging around with a crowd who can only be a bad influence on him."

The solicitor said his client suffers from mental health issues and has been mixing with people involved in drunk and drugs.

His case was heard and adjourned on July 11 and 13 before he appeared again on July 15 when a report from the Highland Youth Action Service was made available.

Sheriff Ian Miller said sentencing came down to either the imposition of a restriction of liberty order or a spell in Polmont young offenders' institution.

After learning that the youth's father would agree to his son moving in while subject to a tagging order, the sheriff agreed to pursue the non-custodial option.

The sheriff said the youth should regard the four-month order, which involves a curfew between 7pm and 7am, as a last chance to avoid detention.

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