Jan 25 2012 by Stephen Robertson, Stirling Observer Wednesday
A WOMAN who came home after an afternoon out found a housebreaker hiding in her bedroom.
Stirling Sheriff Court heard yesterday (Tuesday) how Christopher Roy (26) had broken into the house in Abbot Road, Stirling, but was disturbed when the householders returned.
Roy, described in court as “a habitual criminal” then made a run for it, grabbing the woman’s handbag from where she had left it on his way out.
But the court heard that his luck ran out shortly afterwards when he was picked up by police and arrested.
Fiscal depute Kevin Corrins told the court that the householders had returned home at around 7pm on January 2 this year.
He added that the woman had gone inside and immediately became suspicious as three internal doors were open, these having been closed when they had left earlier.
Mr Corrins said: “She walked around downstairs at the property before going upstairs.
“In the master bedroom she observed the now accused crouched behind the far side of the bed.”
Roy immediately made a run for it, lifting the handbag on the way, and was pursued for a short spell by the male householder.
While Roy initially made his escape, police caught up with him in a nearby street at around 9.25pm that night. On being searched, he was found to have the stolen handbag under his jacket.
Roy was detained and taken to Stirling police office where he gave a no comment interview. He also made no reply to caution and charge.
In court yesterday, however, Roy pleaded guilty to breaking into the house and stealing the handbag, which contained a purse and other items. Cosmetics were also taken during the break in.
Solicitor Andy Bryson said that Roy had been living in bed and breakfast accommodation around the time of the offence and had found himself short of money.
He added that, although Roy had previously had “a deep-rooted heroin problem”, his client “was at pains to point out” that the offence was not committed to feed the drug habit.
Mr Bryson said: “He tells me that he has maintained stability on a methadone programme.
“He is well aware that he has a long way to go but he is very disappointed in himself that he has fallen back on old habits to gain funds.”
Considering sentence, Sheriff Robert Fife told Roy: “You are 26 and you have previous convictions, mostly for crimes of dishonesty. Your previous convictions extend to 13 pages.
“You are a habitual criminal and there is no alternative to a prison sentence to protect the public, at least for a short period of time.
“Theft is bad enough but housebreaking and theft is all the more serious and distressing for the house occupiers.
“My powers are limited as I would have imposed a longer prison sentence had I been able to do so.”
Roy, of Bannockburn Road, Cowie, was then jailed for nine months. This was reduced from 12 months due to Roy’s early guilty plea.
The sentence was backdated to January 4, when Roy was first remanded for the offence.