View Full Version : Refused to help compile report

05-Mar-15, 17:48
Think again or face a longer sentence man told

A THURSO man, who set fire to his home, was warned yesterday that he runs the risk of receiving a longer prison sentence if he does not co-operate with social workers in compiling a background report.
Douglas Wilkie, 30, climbed onto the roof of his flat and hallucinated about non-existant people who were "out to get him".
Wilkie was due to be sentenced at Wick Sheriff Court, today, after previously admitting culpable and reckless fireraising, on indictment. But Sheriff Andrew Berry, who expected to receive a background report was told of Wilkie's refusal to assist social workers because he felt their efforts were "not helping him."
He was again remanded, until March 19, to reconsider his position..
Firefighters and police converged on the fire at Wilkie's flat in Bayview Terrace, Thurso, on November 4 last year. David Barclay, prosecuting, said that the accused was observed on the roof of the flat displaying "a strange demeanour".
The fiscal continued: "He appeared to be pointing to the street below saying that people there were out to get him and that he was in danger from them. However, what he was indicating was an empty space. Wilkie appeared to be under the influence of something and had a clear sense of fear and paranoia."
Firefighters had to stage a force entry as the door the flat had been barricaded to "keep the accused's perceived assailants out."
Wilkie was unable to say how the fire had started but there was evidence that he and others had been drinking and taking drugs in the days preceding the fire and the accused had been lighting papers and pieces of furniture to stoke the living room fire.
Wilkie's solicitor Graham Mann said he had tried unsuccessfully to impress on the accused that he was "making matters worse for himself" by not co-operating with the social workers.
Sheriff Berry underlined the need for a background report as being essential to assist him in arriving at an appropriate sentence and urged Wilkie, who committed the offence while out of prison on licence, to think again.
The sheriff said that it was possible that a prison sentence could be reduced if it could be ascertained that supervision on release, could contribute to the protection of the public, but the background report was required.
However, the sheriff added: "I am aware that the Appeal Court took the view that in one case where an accused failed to co-operate for a report one way of marking that is not to allow any sentence of imprisonment to be backdated to when an accused was taken into custody."