NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Shetland man jailed for child cruelty offences

A Shetland man who mistreated children has been jailed for seven months.

The court was told he regularly forced a number of them to stand for five to six hours as there were made to "recite religious tracts".

The 50-year-old, who has not been named for legal reasons, appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

He had previously pled guilty to neglecting the children over an 11-year period between 1 January 2004 and 30 January 2015.

The offences took place at two addresses in Shetland.

He also admitted causing them unnecessary suffering or injury to their health by making them sit or stand at a table for a number of hours at a time without being fed, including the early hours of the morning.

The man also prevented them from going to bed, physically chastised them and shouted at them.

He also admitted assaulting a women on three occasions.

Procurator Fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told the court the defendant caused a frightful atmosphere by forcing his extreme beliefs on the children.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said the root of the offences was his client's "religious practice".

Sheriff Philip Mann said it was a "very difficult case to deal with" and the man's behaviour went "way beyond what is acceptable in civilised society".