A THIEF who broke into a private art gallery in Glasgow and stole a computer monitor was caught after he took it back to his supported accommodation.

James Crawford, 43, and his co-accused smashed a window at Roger Billcliffe Fine Art, Blythswood Street, and made off with the Apple monitor in the early hours of June 11, 2019.

Police had been contacted and a blood sample was taken. However, later that day, Crawford, entered his supported accommodation unit in possession of the device.

Procurator fiscal depute Victoria Keel told Glasgow Sheriff Court: “The accused told a member of staff he had received the item from his girlfriend. The employee was suspicious and told her boss who phoned police.

“Officers attended and seized the computer.”

The court heard that although the computer was recovered, the damaged window cost £3000 to replace.

Crawford’s defence solicitor explained that his client has since managed to get his life back on track.

He said: “Around the time of the offence he was abusing alcohol. He found his sister deceased which led to mental health problems and increased alcohol use.

“He lost his job and relationship and ended up in homeless accommodation. He was at the lowest he could be.

“He was walking past the premises with his friend. The offence was not planned. He was intoxicated and acted in this manner. After the offence, he undertook a period of rehabilitation which was paid for and sourced by himself.

“He has managed to get his life back on track. He’s working full-time with Tennent’s and has his own property.

“I would respectfully submit this could be dealt with by an alternative to custody. He will do anything to stay out of jail.”

Sheriff Vincent Lunny asked if the business that was broken into had insurance, however, this information was not available.

He said: “It’s a serious matter breaking into someone’s premises. I’m mindful of the age of the offence and your financial circumstances.”

Crawford, of Cardonald, was ordered to pay compensation of £500. He was also ordered to be under social work supervision for six months and carry out 108 hours of unpaid work.