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Man hid in bush after breaking into Highland dental practice, court is told

By Ali Morrison

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Inverness Justice Centre.
Inverness Justice Centre.

A housebreaker’s lawyer has appealed to a sheriff to have his client assessed for a drug treatment and testing order in an effort to break his cycle of offending.

Solicitor advocate Shahid Latif told Inverness Sheriff Court that Allan Smith (41) had been examined by a psychiatrist, who also suggested the same treatment, after diagnosing a complex deep-seated post traumatic stress disorder.

Smith, who previously lived in Hilton but is being held in custody, appeared by video link for sentence before Sheriff Margaret Neilson.

He admitted breaking into an Inverness dental practice before trying to hide in a bush, partly covered in leaves, to escape police detection.

But the court heard that Smith was quickly discovered after the Southside Dental Practice’s alarm activated in the early hours of October 16, 2020.

After being placed in a cell, Smith coughed and spat in the direction of officers.

Mr Latif said: “There was no contact between him or the police officers as they were leaving the cell as the act was committed. The cell video puts the incident in context. He had just been stripped naked by the officers and given only a blanket. He is extremely regretful and the incidents happened after the passing of his wife.”

Smith pleaded guilty to theft by housebreaking and culpable and reckless conduct. Sentence was deferred for a background report, although Sheriff Neilson said she didn’t require one because of Smith’s previous convictions, which included many for drugs, break-ins and dishonesty.

Smith will reappear on May 24 and was again remanded in custody by the sheriff, who warned him: “All options are still open to the court.”

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