A north-east prisoner who told a court he had breast cancer had not actually been diagnosed with it.
Michael Nicol appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court earlier this week and admitted stealing almost £2,700 of cigarettes from a city shop.
He claimed he carried out the raid and was caught deliberately so he could go to prison and add stability back to his life amid his health issues.
Nicol, 40, then alleged he was being refused medication for his cancer while he was held in custody at HMP Grampian for sentencing.
It prompted Sheriff Graeme Napier to adjourn while he investigated the matter, saying: “If I’m sentencing him to custody, I’m sentencing him to death.”
But yesterday the case recalled and the sheriff told defence solicitor Kevin Longino: “I’m not sure your client has given you the full story.
“He has not been diagnosed with any form of breast cancer.
“Your client says he has breast cancer and will die if he’s not treated. I’m saying that’s not true.”
Nicol initially maintained his position, and Mr Longino said that “at no point” had he claimed his client was going to die.
The case was then adjourned briefly to allow Nicol time to discuss the matter further.
After, Sheriff Napier said that Nicol had been receiving a course of anti-cancer drug letrozole, but this was because he had been diagnosed with gynecomastia.
The condition, which only affects men, causes a swelling of breast tissue and can be treated by adjusting hormone levels.
Nicol said he had found a “lump” on his chest, but it was later found to be benign.
Mr Longino said: “His understanding was he had breast cancer.
“He tells me the anti-cancer medication was to ensure the growth on the left side of his chest did not spread.
“It may well be he was not properly listening to what was being said, and he was being prescribed anti-cancer drugs ergo he had cancer.
Sheriff Napier sentenced Nicol to 14 months imprisonment, saying there was “no other option” because of his criminal record.