A 27-year-old man has been ordered to carry out 190 hours’ unpaid work as an alternative to custody after admitting committing eight offences including assaulting a police officer.
Barry Kirsopp pleaded guilty to police assault, obstructing police, theft by housebreaking, attempted theft from a vehicle, two counts of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and two of vandalism.
Those offences were committed between December and March, and Jedburgh Sheriff Court was told Kirsopp had already spent the equivalent of a 12-month prison sentence behind bars in connection with those matters after being held on remand.
He pleaded guilty to causing a disturbance at the Shaw’s Trust charity shop in Channel Street in Galashiels, on December 12 after being challenged by staff over a theft.
Kirsopp also admitted assaulting a detective sergeant in a police vehicle by punching him in the face in Brisbane Place in Kelso on February 20 and obstructing police.
He stole a television from a house in Coalmarket in March, and the other offences were committed elsewhere in Kelso, including the attempted theft of a vehicle.
Defence lawyer Mat Patrick said: “Things were spiralling out of control for him and prison was coming, but he has used his time in custody constructively and has been able to reflect on these offences.
“He has now served the equivalent of a 12-month prison sentence, having been in custody for the past six months.”
Mr Patrick said Kirsopp, of Kelso, was now ready to break that “cycle of chaos” and suggested a community payback order to prevent him from further offending.
He added: “He is in a much better place than when he was remanded.”
Sheriff Vinit Khurana said the offences merited a custodial sentence but told Kirsopp: “You do appear to be making efforts to turn things around.”
He imposed a community payback order as an alternative to custody involving 190 hours’ unpaid work and 18 months’ supervision.