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Wednesday, 08 January 2014

Social work error put man in cell for the night

Written by The Editorial Team

A man spent the night in police cells after an error by a member of Dundee City Council’s social work department, the city’s sheriff court has heard.

Local newspaper, The Courier, reported that Kevin Delaney was wrongly ruled to have breached his supervised attendance order, despite having attended at the social work department on numerous occasions to meet an officer.

As a result Delaney, 27, of Peddie Street, Dundee, was arrested by police on a warrant and kept overnight in the cells.

He appeared from custody on Monday where a court social work officer offered an apology on behalf of the department.

Solicitor Ann Johnston told the court that Delaney denied the breach.

She said: “The warrant shouldn’t have been issued as this was not a breach. He has been in Barrack Street on a number of occasions and was told it was a computer glitch.

“He has spent a night in custody with regard to this.”

Sheriff Richard Davidson replied: “I’m aware of that and I am sure he will be in receipt of appropriate legal advice on that.”

Delaney had originally been fined £400 at Perth Sheriff Court after being found in possession of drugs at Perth Racecourse in May 2010.

However, he failed to pay the fine and was instead placed on an 80-hour supervised attendance order, to be completed in Dundee.

The social work officer said: “We can only apologise. The order was imposed in January and he was written to then, but there was no follow-up until August.

“There was a further appointment in August but there was no note from the officer, there was no follow-up by my colleague and in December a breach report was submitted.

“It’s not his (Delaney’s) fault. It’s entirely our fault.”

Sheriff Davidson said: “I appreciate your frankness in this.”

Asked by Ms Johnston if the order could simply be revoked, the sheriff said: “The difficulty I have is that it is a conviction which emanates from Perth Sheriff Court, a fine which he didn’t pay.

“He should have paid the fine in the first place.”

The sheriff decided to revoke the supervised attendance order and imposed a new, 40-hour community payback order instead.