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Addict broke into Highland hostel, Inverness Sheriff Court hears

By Ali Morrison

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The Inverness Justice Centre.
The Inverness Justice Centre.

A SHERIFF told a drug addict he was on his last chance “to stay alive and out of jail” when she placed him on a two-year drug treatment and testing order (DTTO).

Warren MacLean, of Academy Street, Inverness appeared for sentence at Inverness Sheriff Court after a positive DTTO assessment was carried out by social workers on the 44-year-old.

Previously, the court heard that MacLean broke into the student hostel accommodation in Culduthel Road between September 19 and 20, 2020 with intent to steal.

He admitted the offence and also pleaded guilty to possessing a pair of scissors without reasonable excuse.

The court was told that MacLean had moved to Aberdeen but returned to Inverness when he was in danger of being lured back into drugs.

Defence solicitor advocate Shahid Latif said that his client, who admitted a long list of previous convictions, had remained drug free from March to September.

However, after returning to the Highland capital, he was given a xanax tablet, a type of strong valium which is not prescribed in this country.

Mr Latif told the court: “You can join the dots after that.”

Fiscal depute Karen Aitken said the caretaker at the empty hostel locked up on September 19 and turned off the lights.

But she went back later that evening and saw the lights were on. Further investigation revealed that a safe was open, and other items had been moved.

She then contacted the police.

Mrs Aitken said a friend stayed with her only for the pair to be awakened by a noise upstairs in the hostel.

They went to check it out and found MacLean standing in a living room and ushered him out.

The caretaker then flagged down a passing police car, officers caught up with MacLean and arrested him.

A search revealed the pair of scissors.

Sheriff Sara Matheson was told that MacLean had spent most of his adult life “in a revolving door of being in and out of prison” and that he was “motivated” to beat his habit.

Sheriff Matheson warned him that if he did not complete the order, he would be jailed.

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