Four months’ jail for thief with ‘deplorable record’

A sneak-in thief who stole a bottle of whisky and a purse from a guest house last Thursday night has been jailed for four months at Selkirk Sheriff Court.

Lee Smith, 32, also took a large bundle of Turkish lira notes when he was inside the property in Wilton Crescent but was caught when he tried to exchange them for British currency the following day.

Police officers had asked banks and travel agencies to be on their guard for any suspicious activity after the notes were reported stolen and it paid off as Smith was arrested trying to leave a local branch.

Depute fiscal Tessa Bradley said the owners of the property realised the purse, bottle of Grant’s whisky and the Turkish notes were gone in the morning and called the police when they found a ladies’ purse emptied of cash in the garden hedge.

She added: “The accused went into a travel agent and asked how much the Turkish notes were worth.

“The staff had already been asked by police to be wary of this and one of them contacted the police while another staff member talked to him.

“Moments later he tried to leave but he was apprehended by police as he tried to do so.”

Smith, of Mansfield Gardens, later denied the thefts and being at the guest house and claimed he found the Turkish notes in the street.

But a man, who Smith claimed was with him at the time of the thefts, told police how Smith had confessed to stealing the items.

Sheriff Kevin Drummond noted that Smith was currently on a Drug Treatment and Testing Order but the offending cointinued.

He said: “Your record is deplorable.
You have many, many previous convictions. I have not attempted to count them.

“You are the subject of a DTTO and here you are carrying out a sneak-in theft at a bed and breakfast.”

Due to the immediate guilty plea, Sheriff Drummond reduced the jail sentence from six months to four.