An electrician with a history of stealing money from clients’ houses was ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work for his latest offence.
Stewart Robertson, 48, of Willial, Levenwick, took £40 from a house in Virkie on 31st October last year.
Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said the nature of the offence and the previous convictions were “concerning”, adding “something’s going on”.
Mr Allan said Robertson would have a “huge bridge to build” to get people to trust him again and the latest offence was a step back. The sum of money involved was not big but Robertson would be punished by the community, and this would be more of a sentence than the sheriff could impose. The £40 was handed to the court clerk.
Sheriff Philip Mann said he did not believe Robertson’s explanation that the money had been found in a box which had fallen out of a drawer in the house, and said the offence “brings into prospect a custodial sentence”.
As an alternative to custody, however, the sheriff imposed the community payback order over a nine month period, and if it was not done satisfactorily Robertson would be brought back to court.
The sheriff warned him that if he offended in this way again he would not “have much hesitation in sending you to custody”.