A 35-year-old man has been jailed after stealing £20,000 worth of jewellery from an Aberdeen house in an “organised” heist that left a family unable to sleep.
Patrick Moorehouse was sentenced to 28 months in prison having been one of five men who broke into a property on North Anderson Drive last November.
Appearing at Aberdeen Sheriff Court from HMP Grampian, he pleaded guilty to stealing Nepalese jewels, identification documents and money.
The occupants of the house had been out for around three hours when they returned home to find a 45lb safe had been stolen from a bedroom.
Only minutes earlier, Moorehouse and another three men were seen entering the property on CCTV footage.
“The accused was in possession of a crowbar, which he handed over to another,” fiscal depute Anna Chisholm said.
The following day, police stopped a van on the M55 Preston to Fulwood road in Lancashire.
Moorehouse was one of four passengers in the vehicle, which was found to contain “numerous items, including the stolen jewellery”, Ms Chisholm added.
Sheriff Graeme Napier said there was “an element of organisation” to the crime.
Defence solicitor Peter Shepherd said: “My client wants to go to prison, serve his sentence and then go home and apologise repeatedly to his wife.”
Last night the homeowner told The P&J he was pleased Moorehouse had been jailed but revealed the family had hoped for a longer sentence.
Previously he said his family could “barely sleep” after the break-in.