Father who broke into shop but left his mobile phone behind is jailed for eight months

A man who broke into Home Furnishing and stole money to buy a Christmas present for his daughter has been jailed for eight months.

Adam Chapman, 24, of Undirhoull, Scalloway, forced his way into the Lerwick store through an insecure window and helped himself to three till drawers containing £245 on 22nd December.

However he was picked up on the shop’s CCTV system and unwittingly left his mobile phone in the premises.

The phone rang while police were at the shop investigating the break-in, and the name displayed on the phone allowed them to discern who owned the device.

Chapman appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court the following day and was released on bail while background reports were compiled.

But on 27th December he struggled with police, misbehaving in a patrol car and at the town’s police station. He shouted and swore at officers, spat and repeatedly blocked a cell toilet, breaching the terms of his release. He spent the New Year on remand as a result of his antics.

Today’s court heard Chapman co-operated with the police following the first offence, although the money has not been recovered.

However procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said he struggled with officers “in a fairly violent manner” as they carried out their post-Christmas enquiries.

Defence agent Tommy Allan admitted Chapman had a “terrible record”. But he said Chapman had managed to avoid offending for a lengthy period of time.

He said Chapman had been clean of drugs, although a background report showed he was still on methadone and occasionally used cocaine and amphetamines.

Chapman did have a job, but lost it after the firm he was working for went into liquidation.

Mr Allan said Chapman had taken time to reflect on his circumstances while on remand and had realised where he was going wrong. Chapman had recently become a father, but the relationship with the baby’s mother came to an end and he did not see as much of the child as he would have liked.

Mr Allan said Chapman had broken into the shop so he could get a Christmas present for his child.

“That’s maybe not an ideal improvement but there is a change of motivation there,” he said.

He added Chapman had been given an opportunity to start on the Moving On project, which would give him three days work a week with extra money on top of his benefits.

Sheriff Graeme Napier argued the shop would be entitled to claim back the presents from his daughter that he stole for her.

“There is not very much house or shop-breaking in Shetland. Unfortunately, you are involved in it.”

Chapman’s sentence was back-dated to 28th December when he was first taken into custody.


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