A MAN who stole nine bottles of vodka to fund his gambling losses has been sent to prison.

Alan Hedges entered Tesco on Old Shettleston Road on April 21 and left the supermarket without paying for the booze worth £184.50.

On Wednesday, the 45-year-old from Cumbernauld, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court to be sentenced after previously pleading guilty to the theft.

He committed the offence whilst on four separate bail orders.

Glasgow Times:

The court heard: “At 4.20pm, the witness was within the store working as a security guard. It was brought to his attention that the accused was within the alcohol aisle removing security tags from bottles.

“The security guard made his way to locate the accused at the exit of the store, however, was unable to trace him.

“CCTV footage was viewed, and it showed the accused in the alcohol aisle, selecting bottles, removing the tags and placing them within a bag, and leaving the store without paying for the goods.”

Hedges returned to the store several days later and was identified. He was informed about the theft of nine bottles of Smirnoff vodka and taken to the detention room.

Police officers attended and Hedges was arrested and taken to Cathcart police office.

There was no recovery of the alcohol.

Hedge’s lawyer told the court that his client spent two weeks in custody in relation to the matter.

He added: “He was remanded in custody from April 29 until May 12, which is understandable given his extensive record.

“He has an addiction problem – he a terrible gambler. Until last week, Gamblers Anonymous had not been operating. He is aware that gambling causes him problems and he can’t continue to fund his losses by shoplifting.

“This is an opportunity for him to engage and attend Gamblers Anonymous, which seems to help him. It has not been available to him the last 15 months.

“My invitation is to deal with this by way of non-custodial method.”

But Sheriff Paul Brown opted to sentenced Hedges to 210 days in prison.

He told him: “I’ve listened to everything said, however, you are a prolific offender. Your conduct is escalating. It seems to me that there is no appropriate sentence other than a period of imprisonment.”