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Sheriff gives Inverness man a chance thanks to 'new medication'

By Ali Morrison

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Sheriff David Harvie heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.
Sheriff David Harvie heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.

A man who harboured an absconder from a children's care unit has been given a further chance by a sheriff to avoid a jail sentence.

Stephen Dick, of Mackintosh Road, Inverness appeared for sentence from remand at Inverness Sheriff Court after previously pleading guilty to the offence which occurred on December 28 last year.

The 22-year-old also admitted previous convictions which included a current community payback order which Sheriff David Harvie heard was "not going well".

But he gave Dick an opportunity to comply with it with intensive social work support by placing him on a structured deferred sentence with a review on May 16.

Fiscal depute Naomi Duffy-Welsh 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. A bottle of vodka was also found in her bag which she said Dick had said he would get for her."

Defence solicitor Marc Dickson told the court previously: "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."

Another solicitor, Duncan Henderson, stood in for Mr Dickson at sentencing and he said: "He is now on new medication and that is helping him cope with his difficulties."

Sheriff Harvie told Dick: "There has been limited progress since July last year on your current community payback order and the previous one was revoked and a prison sentence imposed.

"This offence is a serious one and I am less than impressed that you bought alcohol for this girl. Your record is also a significant one.

"But the hope is that you are on new medication and you will benefit from support. I will give you that opportunity to carry on with your current orders and my expectation is you will make progress."

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