‘Comply.. or you’ll spend Christmas in jail’
A Gartcosh man has narrowly avoided a prison sentence after failing to engage with a community payback order.
Holms Place resident Scott Forsyth, 20, was given the order for forcing entry into the home of a 70-year-old woman in 2016 and terrifying the pensioner by acting aggressively to her.
He resurfaced at Airdrie Sheriff Court last week to learn his fate for failing to comply with its orders.
His defence solicitor Rowan Myles told the court:“The report here states there has been a downturn in engagement.
“When he received the order I told him he was as close to prison as one could be.
“I don’t think he has any comprehension of how luxurious the position he’s in is.
“I have some clients who have no place to turn, yet he has generations of his family here in court today.
“The left side of this courtroom is filled with supportive members of his family. The right side is also filled with supportive members of his family.
“Yet the man in the dock seems to have just given up.
“You’re aware of the tragedy that has existed in his life so far.
“The truth is, if you decided to jail him today the sentence would probably be in excess of 12 months.
“I told him that earlier and he became emotional at the thought.”
Mr Myles continued:“There has been a complete loss of motivation from this young man.
“The report that kept him out of prison last time noted that the situation he was in seemed to be‘water off a duck’s back’for him.
“That’s wrong, as he’d be very vulnerable in a prison setting.
“If you’re minded to give him another opportunity, he has assured me that there won’t be another occasion such as this where I’m standing before you explaining his attitude.”
Forsyth is currently under more than one restriction of liberty order, which his lawyer alluded to as he asked Sheriff Derek O’Caroll:“I invite you to continue this order with another review and leave his other matters hanging over him.
“Hopefully that is sufficient as he knows there’s a substantial period of custody available should he not engage.”
Addressing Forsyth, Sheriff O’Carroll said:“Your solicitor has eloquently described your situation.
“You have a large number of family members here and that is to your advantage.
“Another advantage is your choice of solicitor who has put forward a very well-judged argument.
“I was minded to send you to prison but I am prepared to give you an opportunity.
“You’ll understand though, there is only one punishment that doesn’t require your co-operation.
“I’ll fix a further review of this order on December 4, when you’ll appear back before me.
“I’ll have a further report to see how well you are complying with it. If you haven’t been [complying], you’ll be spending Christmas in jail.”