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Police found girl missing from care unit hiding in bedroom in Inverness

By Ali Morrison

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Inverness Sheriff Court is at Inverness Justice Centre.
Inverness Sheriff Court is at Inverness Justice Centre.

A man who harboured an absconder from a children's care unit is facing a jail sentence.

Stephen Dick, of Mackintosh Road, Inverness appeared from remand at Inverness Sheriff Court by video link and pleaded guilty to the offence which occurred on December 28 last year.

The 22-year-old also admitted previous convictions but as he was on a current community payback order, his solicitor Marc Dickson told Sheriff Sara Matheson that a background report would be required.

He will reappear on February 21 and was again remanded. Sheriff Matheson told him: "Given the likely disposal in this case, bail would not be appropriate."

Fiscal depute Karen Poke told the court that the young girl had been reported missing by the care unit.

"But as a result of Snapchat messages sent to the unit by her, staff were able to identify that she was staying with Stephen Dick and the police were informed.

"Officers were allowed into his property and found the girl hiding in the bedroom."

Mr Dickson said: "There was nothing inappropriate here. He knew the young person and her friend and was not aware that she was still in the unit.

"His concern was that she had somewhere to stay that night. He should have been aware that there was a possibility she was still in care and should have made efforts to find out."

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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