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Man on the run broke into Highland holiday home

By Ali Morrison

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Inverness Sheriff Court has heard a man fled to the Highlands to avoid being recalled to prison.

A County Durham man who fled to the Highlands to avoid being recalled to prison in England broke into a holiday home to survive.

When police caught up with 46-year-old Darren Merritt near Kylestrome, he immediately confessed to his crime and added: "I had a really good night's sleep there."

Merritt admitted theft of food and maps from the Old School House in Kinlochbervie on May 31 and giving police a false name and address on June 29.

He was jailed for eleven weeks after appearing at Inverness Sheriff Court today.

Defence solicitor Laura Jane McFarlane said her client will be returned to England to serve most or all of a nine month jail sentence remaining.

She added: "He was struggling to survive and what he stole was food and maps."

Fiscal depute Michelle Molley said: "He is subject to a recall to prison in England and this explains his presence in Scotland."

Merritt broke into a garage before forcing a lock to enter the property where he ate and slept, Ms Molley went on.

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