Prison for thief who stole charity tins from Larbert shop

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A mean thief has been jailed after a plea from his lawyer to give his client a last chance to avoid custody was rejected.

Career criminal Robert Robertson’s ‘targets’ between November 8, 2017 and July 8 this year included parked cars and a family business.

He also breached bail on August 22 by being in Valeview, Stenhousemuir, despite being ordered by Falkirk Sheriff Court to stay away from the area.

The 43-year-old thief appeared in court from custody last Thursday for sentence.

The court was told that Robertson, from Flat 2/7 Paton Drive, Larbert, broke into Libby’s in Larbert Main Street on July 8 and stole the contents of a cash box and three charity tins and police had used CCTV footage to trace him.

Robertson also admitted being in cars parked in McCowan Crescent and Cambridge Crescent, Larbert, without lawful authority with the intent to commit theft.

Defence lawyer Michael Lowrie said Robertson’s “tragic background”, which included being sexually abused as a child, was partly to blame for his “lengthy offending history”.

Mr Lowrie claimed: “He has struggled greatly with that and turned to alcohol and drugs. Drink and drugs are at the heart of his offending. Since his last custodial sentence in 2014 he has done what he can to get his life back on track and these offences were not drug related.

“He has realised things have to change and made some improvements. He would like the opportunity of a non-custodial disposal.”

He said the breach of bail on August 22 was to do with Robertson spending time with his ill mother, and suggested a ‘half-way house’ sentence involving a short prison term and a supervised community payback order on his release.

He also pointed out Robertson had been remanded in custody since August 24.

Sheriff John Mundy made it clear his options were limited and sent Robertson to prison for a total of 13 months, back-dated to the time of his arrest on August 24, for “serious” crimes.