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NOW THAT'S PAYBACK! Yob ignores SNP's soft new sentence...so he's locked up.

Byline: Magnus Gardham

THE first yob to be handed one of the SNP government's new community sentences simply ignored the punishment.

Lawrence Winters, 39, was jailed yesterday after he failed to turn up to serve his community payback order.

The serial offender - who has 98 previous convictions - did not even go to an introductory meeting about his 60 hours of unpaid work.

In all, he missed three appointments, blaming a heart attack, a road traffic accident and an epileptic seizure.

But Winters was finally locked up when he appeared at Perth Sheriff Court yesterday.

His case was adjourned to March 28 but sheriff William Summers, who gave him the 60-hour punishment, refused bail. He said: "It seems clear there has been, to at least some extent, a breach of this order."

Jobless Winters was sentenced on February 4 after admitting behaving in a threatening manner.

He was the first person in Scotland to receive a community payback order, just days after justice minister Kenny MacAskill introduced them as a "tough" alternative to short jail terms. Labour justice spokesman Richard Baker said: "This undermines the credibility of the system and faith in Scottish justice.

"The community payback scheme passed by SNP ministers has a huge black hole in its funding and will let muggers, housebreakers and even sex offenders dodge jail."

Humiliation Tory justice spokesman John Lamont said: "This is a total and utter humiliation for the SNP."

A government spokesman said last night: "Community payback is a tough option for low-level offenders.

"If any offender steps out of line and breaches the strict restrictions in place, they are apprehended and taken into custody."

Sheriffs have been told to consider community payback as an alternative to jail terms of less than three months.

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 8, 2011
Words:296
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