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Break-in was “disappointing” says Deveronvale chairman

Ian Thomson leaves court after being sentenced to 24 months in prison.
Ian Thomson leaves court after being sentenced to 24 months in prison.

The chairman of a north-east football club which had its home park broken into last year has described the incident as “disappointing”.

Princess Royal Park in Banff was targeted last November by a man who raided offices there for cash and food as part of a crime spree which affected several businesses across the town.

Ian Thomson from neighbouring Macduff admitted the break-ins earlier this year and on Monday was sent to prison for 24 months.

North-east man jailed for spate of break-ins

The 30-year-old’s solicitor, Debbie Wilson, had expressed concern that Thomson would have to “face” the community on his release.

“He was very embarrassed that this is the way he behaved,” she said.

“I’m not sure how he’s going to fare being the one who damaged Princess Royal.”

Deveronvale Football Club lease the ground from the Princess Royal Sports and Community Trust.

And last night, the club’s chairman, James Mair, said he was disappointed that the break-in happened at all.

“I don’t know the chap at all, to be honest,” he said.

“But it’s always disappointing to have a break-in.”

Thomson’s crimes included stealing a charity box from Macduff Lifeboat Station, a company credit card from Prime Seafood in Fraserburgh and stealing about £250 from a gaming machine from Pyramids takeaway in Banff.

At the time of the break-ins, Macduff Lifeboat coxswain Chassey Findlay said funds that could have been used to save lives at sea would have to be spent to repair the damage.

He added: “It is upsetting that someone felt the need to steal from a charity.”

Mrs Wilson had asked the court to consider releasing Thomson into the community to be the subject of a drugs treatment order.

This was rejected by Sheriff Andrew Miller.

Thomson’s prison sentence has, however, been backdated to February 1 when he was first remanded in custody for his crimes.

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