A Moray man has been jailed for two years for ransacking a pensioner’s home as she slept.
Guy Whitelaw, also known as McCall, broke into the 87-year-old’s home in Forres over the summer.
He forced open her patio door and raided the drawers and cupboards, pulling them wide open and leaving their contents scattered everywhere.
The 36-year-old fled with £45 in cash, along with some jewellery and perfume. But Elgin Sheriff Court heard yesterday that despite the relatively low-value of the items, his victim had been badly spooked by the incident, which happened on June 22 this year.
Fiscal depute Kevin Corrins said the pensioner had no idea what had happened until she woke up the next day.
“When she woke up at 7.15am she noticed that in her bedroom her wardrobe door was open, alongside her bedside cabinet,” he said.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
“Thinking nothing of this, she continued to get ready and went to her bathroom, where she found her vanity cabinet wide open, with the contents scattered all over the place.
“She was traumatised after realising what had happened.”
McCall, who is from Forres, also tried to break into another home in the town’s Meikle Crook on June 22. However he was chased away by the owner.
Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov described the crimes as “despicable.”
She said: “Violating the privacy of people is a despicable act and it is disgusting how you have targeted vulnerable people.
“You have affected their confidence and the right for them to feel safe in their own home.”
Defence solicitor Matthew O’Neill said that his client was very sorry about the incidents, but had a limited recollection of the events as he was under the influence of alcohol and under substances.
He said: “These were just simply random incidents and there was no targeting of houses, which isn’t surprising considering the state he was in. He wants to apologise to the individuals involved and the impact this had on them.
“He has been trying to mend his ways after appearing here too many times in his life, and he has been fine for the last year but the death of his brother two weeks before these incidents hit him hard.”
McCall pleaded guilty to one charge of house breaking with intent to steal and one charge of theft by house breaking. He was jailed for two years.