A THIEF who pocketed a charity collection tin with £600 in it claimed he thought he was stealing a tub of Pringles.

The tin had been placed at the till area of the Usave store on Dyke Road, Knightswood, to raise money for the funeral of an employee's son. 

But William Jeffrey, 66, entered the shop on the morning of July 20 last year and pocketed the tin.

He appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court last week for sentencing.

The Procurator Fiscal stated that the container for the money was marked as a “bereavement fund”.

He added: “At 9.30am, a customer entered the store and attended at the tills. He had requested a top-up for his electricity card and employee Pauline Chapman dealt with this transaction.

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“During the transaction, the customer enquired about the amount of the top-up which caused the member of staff to look away from the customer and concentrate on the till itself to make an amendment.

“At the end of the transaction, the customer left the store. Ms Chapman continued to serve customers for around 30 or 40 minutes afterwards.

“One customer then handed her a £2 coin for the collection fund, however, it was no longer where it had been left.”

CCTV checks were carried out.

Jeffrey was captured attending at the till for the electricity transaction and placing the money container into his pocket and leaving.

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Police were contacted. Officers attended and viewed the CCTV footage. They identified the man as Jeffrey, from Knightswood.

Officers then went to his home, where he was cautioned and charged and made no reply.

The court heard that there was full recovery of the money.

Jeffrey’s lawyer said: “It’s always been my client’s position that there was nothing on the container informing that it was a bereavement fund.

“According to him, the money was in a Pringles tub. He thought it was just crisps he was stealing.

“He tells me his intention was to return it to the store, but police arrived, and he handed it over. The lady in the shop told him he should be ashamed of himself, and he agreed with her.”

It was revealed that Jeffrey’s record dates back to 1973 and has an outstanding matter for shoplifting.

His defence solicitor added: “It’s confirmed in the social work report that he’s ashamed of his actions.

“He appeared genuine in his empathy and regret. He has a variety of health issues, both physical and mental.

“Unpaid work may be suitable if it is light duties. He tells me he’s completed a restriction of liberty order in the past, but I don’t see that on his record. It would be an option.”

Sheriff Charles Lugton told Jeffrey: “This certainly falls into the category of disgraceful crime.

“I’ve come to the view, with some hesitation, that I can deal with this on a non-custodial basis.”

He tagged Jeffrey and ordered him to stay within his home from 7pm-7am for 90 days.