A 22-year-old vandal, who caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to property and vehicles in Brora, has been jailed today for four months.
Unemployed local man Nicolas Carter, 19 Victoria Drive, broke "numerous" windows at Brora Primary School and Brora Social Club as well as on two diggers belonging to an Ardgay plant company.
He went on the wrecking spree on 26th January this year after falling out with a friend.
The damage totalled £6000 with the cost of replacing the windows at the school £1000; at the social club £3000; and on the diggers £2000.
The owners of the diggers also lost an estimated further £4000 in business while the vehicles were being repaired.
Carter appeared for sentencing at Dornoch Sheriff Court today. He had admitted the offence at a previous court when the case was deferred for background social work reports.
Procurator fiscal Roderick Urquhart told today’s court that Carter had "acquired a bottle of vodka on the day in question and gone into the centre of Brora with a friend.
"They fell out and the accused went off by himself. He was upset at the fall-out and seems to have used the vodka bottle to break a window on an excavator. Somebody was woken by the damage and looked out," said Mr Urquhart.
Defence agent Eileen Macinnes said her client had admitted the offence and was well aware that he was facing a stiff penalty because of his criminal record and because of the significant amount of damage he had caused.
The lawyer said Carter was presently in receipt of benefit and unable to compensate for the damage.
She suggested to Sheriff David Sutherland that a community based disposal might be the most appropriate option.
Ms Macinnes revealed Carter had been volunteering at Helmsdale Community Centre and appeared to have made a good impression on centre managers. There was the possibility that he might be employed at the centre on an eight-month job programme run through the Job Centre.
She said he had admitted the offence at the earliest opportunity and had not sought to minimise its seriousness.
Passing sentence Sheriff David Sutherland said: "What I have to consider is whether or not this sort of behaviour can be dealt with other than by a custodial sentence.
"This is not the first time you have appeared before the court for this sort of behaviour. There have been several attempts to deal with you in non-custodial ways and by imposing compensation orders.
"These do not seem to have had any effect and I have to consider your effect on the community.
"I don’t consider I can dispose of this any other way than by a custodial sentence."