California offender had 'breakdown' when he stole courier's van in Shieldhill

A delivery driver who left his van parked in the street with the keys in it watched as it was driven away by a staggering – apparently drunk – thief.

By Court Reporter
Monday, 4th May 2020, 1:41 pm
Updated Monday, 4th May 2020, 1:42 pm

William Bird ( 47) was said to be suffering “some sort of breakdown” at the time of incident, when he stole the Ford Transit which was parked in a street in Shieldhill.

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last week, Bird, Ebenezer Road, California, had pled guilty to the theft he committed on April 15. He also admitted failing to report an accident, failing to provide information to police, failing to give a roadside breath test and being in possession of knives.

Lindsey Brooks procurator fiscal depute, said: "It's quite an unusual set of circumstances. The accused was seen staggering and seemed clearly under the influence. The vehicle belonged to a delivery driver, not anyone the accused was connected with that I'm aware of.

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Bird appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court to answer for his crimes

“The witness left the vehicle with the keys on the driver's seat when he went to collect an order, thinking he'd be quick, and the accused got into the vehicle and drove off.”

Defence solicitor Neil Hay said Bird was “not coping at home”.

He added: “It was described to me as some sort of breakdown. He is looking after his wife with MS, and he's also looking after his parents, who have their disabilities.

“He was simply struggling."

Sheriff Derek Livingston deferred sentence until June 25 for reports to be carried out.

He said: “Despite your personal circumstances its's perfectly possible the court will be looking to impose imprisonment. This was somebody in the course of their employment, delivering items.“There are two knives involved, there's the theft of the vehicle, there's the fact you refused to give a breath test, and it appears that you were unsafe as well.”