A former soldier is behind bars after a £13,500 theft at a bookmakers.
Karl Jones stole the cash at the Paddy Power branch in Inverness – the day after it raked in large losing bets from a top English Premier League match.
The money had not been banked the previous evening.
Jones then entered the shop last March 30 a minute after it opened – through a staff entrance that was unlocked.
But, the Paddy Power employee working that day denied to a jury he was involved in the crime.
Jones was today convicted the reduced charge of stealing £13,499, a telephone and keys from the bookmakers.
The 31 year-old had initially faced an allegation of assault and robbery – involving the use of a handgun – but those accusations were deleted by the jury.
Jones was remanded in custody at the High Court in Glasgow and will learn his fate next month.
The trial heard how the Paddy Power shop had taken in a number of large bets for Manchester City to beat Arsenal on March 29.
But, the match ended 1-1 meaning the bookies avoided big-payouts to punters.
As a result, more than £13,000 was in the shop’s safe.
Jones then walked into the bookies just after it opened at 9.30am the next morning.
Employee Kyle Fitzgerald was working that day – the court heard he was one of Jones’ closest friends at that time.
Jones, now of Liverpool, was in the betting shop up to eight hours a day five times a week.
The theft was then carried out before police began the hunt to catch the culprit.
The court was told Jones had got in that day via a staff door that was unlocked.
Fitzgerald claimed in evidence that he had forgotten to lock it.
Prosecutor Stewart Ronnie asked him: “It may be suggested to you that you were part of this incident in which your firm lost £13,500. Is there any truth in that?”
The witness replied: “No.”
The jury also heard that Fitzgerald told police he was unable to identify Jones and initially claimed the thief spoke with a foreign accent.
Judge Lady Rae deferred sentencing until July 1 in Edinburgh.
She told Jones that he was found guilty of “a very well planned theft”.