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Man who stole camper van and set it on fire on Black Isle is jailed

By Court Reporter

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The case was heard at Inverness Sheriff Court.
The case was heard at Inverness Sheriff Court.

A MAN who stole a camper van while on early release from prison has been sentenced to a further 18 months behind bars.

Ian Grant, who gave his address as HMP Inverness, took the vehicle from an address in the city’s Smithton Park.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard previously that he was seen at about 4am on October 20 last year by a motorist waiting at traffic lights at the Longman Road roundabout.

Depute fiscal David Morton said the driver saw the camper van being driven erratically over all three lanes and with no lights as it headed north on the A9.

They alerted police before another member of the public contacted the fire service having seen the camper van on fire on the B9161 road near Munlochy.

When police eventually caught up with him, Grant (24) told them he knew how to steal vehicles, but that they had not seem him steal the camper van – and that he had not stolen it.

This was despite the police not mentioning anything about a stolen vehicle.

They believed Grant to be under the influence of alcohol but he refused to take a breath test.

The court heard that, according to the owner of the camper van, he had been left £3500 out of pocket by the destruction of his vehicle.

Grant admitted stealing the camper van and driving without a licence or insurance as well as to setting it on fire.

On Friday solicitor Graham Mann said Grant had not been drinking at the time of the offence and the fire was caused by "recklessness".

He said that since his release form prison he had been working in a bakery and was in a stable relationship.

Sheriff Margaret Neilson agreed not to make him serve the remaining portion of his previous sentence but handed down a new sentence of 18 months. She also banned him from driving for four years.

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