A thief’s drunken break-in to his neighbourhood shop was filmed on CCTV and it enabled police to arrest the culprit shortly afterwards.
Although he was wearing a hoodie, 25-year-old Steven Burns’s face could be seen as he raided the store in the Woodside Village in Inverness’s Westhill on March 19 last year.
Sheriff Margaret Neilson watched the footage in Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday and saw Burns making a clumsy attempt to smash the glass doors with stones.
He then grabbed pieces of wood in an effort to make the holes bigger after his attempts to kick the door in failed.
After a few minutes, he was able to climb through the shards left on the door, snagging his leg as he did so, before falling on to the glass-covered floor.
Burns was then filmed grabbing three bottles of Buckfast, smashing open the cash desks before stealing a bottle of champagne and leaving, with the store alarm still ringing.
Fiscal depute Michelle Molley said officers were quickly on the scene, identified the thief, and arrested him in his home at Woodside Village a short distance away. They also recovered bloodstained bank notes and the unopened bottles of alcohol.
Burns admitted theft of £232 of money and the other items by housebreaking. Ms Molley said the cost of repairing the damage was £1,162.
Defence solicitor Brent Lockie said police located him before Burns had the chance to drink the stolen booze.
“He got himself very drunk and ran out of alcohol so he returned to his old ways after staying out of trouble for around a year.
“It was obvious to the police who had done it.” Mr Lockie added.
Burns was jailed for a year.