An addict with a guilty conscience handed himself into police because he feared he would commit another crime to fund his drug habit.
Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald was told that 41-year-old Neil Redmond broke into the cafe at the city’s Botanic Gardens in the Bught Park on November 15 last year.
Inverness Sheriff Court heard on Thursday that drug dealers and users had moved into the Hilton area where Redmond lived and it resulted in him becoming addicted to heroin again.
Redmond, 41, confessed to police the day afterwards explaining that when his mother refused to give him money for the narcotic, he took his moped to Bught Lane and forced his way into the cafe.
He said he was in there for three minutes searching for something to steal and when he couldn’t find anything he left.
Defence solicitor Willie Young said: “When he got home, he knew he would break in to somewhere else or do something more serious so he handed himself in.
“In 2018, he had been placed on a drug treatment and testing order and was a model performer. But the area he lives in had become polluted by dealers and users and he started using heroin again.
“Since this, he has been liaising with a rehabilitation centre and has secured a job as a car valeter.
“I would hope that his reaction to this act of folly would be regarded as a cry for help.”
Mr Young conceded his client had “an appalling record” but pointed out that the background report which had been called for recommended a community based disposal.
“After giving himself up, the police assisted him with access to Osprey House and he is grateful for that.” Mr Young added.
Fiscal depute Rowena Carlton told the court that the cafe alarm had been set off but when a member of staff arrived, it had stopped.
Police were called and it was discovered that nothing had been disturbed inside.
Ms Carlton said that police were unable to find anything forensically to determine the culprit until Redmond, who admitted housebreaking with intent to steal, handed himself in.
“He told officers ‘I am smoking drugs and don’t want to cause any hassle.’ He apologised and said he didn’t want to break into any more buildings.” Ms Carlton went on.
Sheriff Macdonald said that because of Redmond’s actions and his efforts to stay away from drugs, “I am going to give you a chance despite your record.”
She placed Redmond, of of Esk Road, under 18 months of social work supervision.