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Last chance for ‘rock bottom’ Moray criminal facing nine-year stretch

By Ali Morrison

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A MORAY criminal facing up to nine years in jail has been given a final chance, after a four-week stretch behind bars kept him sober.

Stuart appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court.
Stuart appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court.

Aiden Stuart (23) appeared from custody at Elgin Sheriff Court last week for a review of a community payback order imposed for violent offences, including domestic abuse cases.

However Stuart, of no fixed abode and previously the Old Coach House Hotel, Buckie, was remanded in custody around four weeks earlier.

Solicitor Stephen Carty said that, though Mr Stuart admitted breaching the court order, “forced abstinence has been very beneficial for him”.

He added that sobriety meant his client’s condition was: “As good as I have seen Mr Stuart in a significant period of time,”

“If he doesn’t continue then the only option will be a considerable custodial sentence.

“He has been on a somewhat of a downward spiral for a fairly significant amount of time.

“Medication has had a significant and dramatic effect on Mr Stuart.

“It has taken Mr Stuart to hit rock bottom to appreciate the help the court has given him.”

The solicitor, however, added that a report showed that Stuart would have to address ongoing personal issues if bailed.

He asked Sheriff David Harvie to give the 23-year-old more time to show he would comply with his order.

Addressing Stuart, Sheriff Harvie said: “You do look significantly better than the last time I saw you.

“You gave the impression that you just weren’t capable of keeping on the straight and narrow.

“The terms of the report do contain some limited hope.”

Sheriff Harvie gave Stuart another six weeks, by which time he expected the man to have an address and to have engaged fully with police.

He added: “Either you are going to have to address this or you are going into custody for a long time.

“A long time.”

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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