A habitual housebreaker raided a 90-year-old woman’s home just months after he was released early from prison for a similar offence.
Ryan McWilliams, 30, stole jewellery of great sentimental value to the widow.
McWilliams, who now lives in Inverness but was described as an Inverness prisoner, entered through a small bathroom window on November 5.
The old lady had secured all but one of her windows and doors of the Lochalsh Road property before going to bed.
Fiscal depute Roderick Urquhart said: “When she arose and went downstairs about 10am she immediately noticed that drawers and cupboards were now lying open and various items had been disturbed.
“She contacted the police who found an indentation on the bin lid suggested that it had been stood on to allow entry to and/or egress from the house through the bathroom window.”
McWilliams, who was known to the police as a thief, had been filmed on the city CCTV in the area and they went to speak to him at the guest house where he was staying.
Mr Urquhart added: “He was wearing a yellow metal watch with a brown leather strap which matched the description the victim had given of her late husband’s watch that had been stolen.
“He also had a locket containing a photograph of the couple’s wedding and two yellow metal chain necklaces which had also been stolen.”
Sheriff Margaret Neilson said: “This was a despicable offence against a 90 year old lady and he was on licensed released from prison at the time.
“He also has a number of convictions for theft by housebreaking since 2011 and was jailed for two years in April 2015, being released early in March this year.”
At Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday. McWilliams admitted theft by housebreaking.
His defence solicitor Duncan Henderson said: “My client accepts this and hopes that his early plea gave some relief to his victim.”
The Sheriff deferred sentence until January 11 for a background report and remanded McWilliams again in custody.
But she told him: “There will be a custodial sentence.”