Debit card thief has sentence deferred

In a bid to pay off drug debts, Colin Brown stole his mother-in-law’s bank card and used it to obtain money.

Brown, 33, of Leishman Place, admitted stealing a debit card from a house in Wellington Court on July 28.

On the same date, he admitted using the card at an ATM at Sainsburys, Commercial Road, and stealing £130.

Brown also admitted using the card to obtain goods worth £4.39 at the store.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser told Jedburgh Sheriff Court how the debit card owner reported matters when she discovered that £130 cash had been withdrawn.

“He removed the debit card from his mother-in-law’s house and went to Sainsburys where he used it to buy tobacco,” said Mr Fraser.

Police viewed the store’s CCTV and saw the accused accessing the ATM.

“He appeared nervous and was constantly looking around,” added Mr Fraser.

“He said he had put the money towards £500 in drugs debts and said he needed help with a cannabis problem,” concluded Mr Fraser.

Defence solicitor Rory Bannerman conceded his client was “significantly in debt at the time.

“He saw it as a mechanism to pay off his debts,” explained Mr Bannerman.

Brown had previously claimed to have repaid the money to his mother-in-law, but Mr Fraser said he had received a letter refuting this.

Mr Bannerman told the court: “He and his wife are adamant that the money has been repaid, but I cannot prove that.

“He was a heavy cannabis user and had a drug debt at the time.

“He has turned his life around since then and significantly reduced his use of cannabis.” .

Sheriff Derrick McIntyre told Brown: “It appears that you haven’t repaid this money, so I will call for reports.”

Sentence was deferred until February 22.