A serial thief has been jailed after he was caught red-handed stealing cakes from an award-winning Aberdeen shop.
Paul Urquhart was discovered in the basement of O’caykx on Schoolhill when staff heard a rustling noise and demanded that he show himself.
The 44-year old attempted to flee the scene but was stopped by employees, who found he had stolen three boxes of designer cakes.
The shop, which closed down during the Covid-19 pandemic, is now based in Bankhead Drive near Portlethen.
Urquhart admitted the charge at Aberdeen Sheriff Court while also pleading guilty to a flat break-in near Kittybrewster, where he stole hundreds of pounds worth of musical and electronic equipment.
Police connected Urquhart to the house raid by matching DNA from blood he left at the crime scene when he broke through a window.
Staff told cake thief to come out and identify himself
In relation to the cake theft on July 8 2020, fiscal depute Victoria Kerr told the court: “A member of staff went to the basement where the cakes were kept and he heard a rustling noise.
“He alerted another member of staff who asked anyone present in the basement to identify themselves.
“The accused appeared and stated he was looking for something, or words to that effect, and appeared to be using his phone as a torch.
“He was told the police would be contacted and he should remain until they arrive at which point he attempted to leave and was restrained by the staff.
“The staff then noticed a green bag in the basement that had not been there previously – within the bag were three boxes of cakes, which had a value of around £54.
“The cakes could not be sold on as a result of the incident.”
Police then arrested and charged Urquhart.
Thief also stole items in Aberdeen flat break-in
Urquhart also admitted to breaking into a property on Sunnybank Place in Aberdeen on May 17 this year by smashing through a glass panel above the door of the flat.
The occupants, who had been out of town at the time, discovered the thief had made off with the contents of two safes, musical equipment, cameras and jewellery totalling more than £640.
Ms Kerr added: “There was some blood staining due to the glass panel being broken and the accused was identified through a DNA search from that blood.”
Accused has ‘long history of drug abuse’
Defence agent John Hardie told the court that Urquhart had a “long history of drug abuse”.
He added: “He does express remorse for his actions.”
Sheriff William Summers told Urquhart: “You have a raft of previous convictions for dishonesty.
“It is quite clear the only appropriate sentence today is the imposition of a period in custody.”
He sentenced Urquhart, of Northfield Place, Aberdeen, to three months for the theft of the cakes and a further seven months for the break-in.