A former squaddie who turned to drink and drugs to blot out the horrors of Iraq raided Crieff Hydro for computer kit worth more than £4000.
It wasn’t until three days later that staff at the Strathearn hotel noticed the work stations and box of cables had disappeared. But a review of CCTV led to Alister Sinclair (27), of Crieff, being traced and charged with the theft.
He was spared a jail term at Perth Sheriff Court last Wednesday and will have to carry out 275 hours of unpaid work as part of a Community Payback Order instead.
Sinclair, said to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, will also be supervised for 18 months and will have to undergo drugs and alcohol counselling.
Sinclair admitted stealing the items from the Ferntower Road hotel in Crieff last June 23. He was subject to a March 12 bail order at the time.
Depute fiscal Carol Whyte said the theft was discovered at 3pm on June 26.
When the Hydro’s security system was re-played, the accused was seen entering a room where the equipment was stored three days earlier at around 4.30pm.
“He was seen to be carrying a large box and leaving the hotel with that,” the fiscal declared.
Sinclair was identified from the CCTV footage and later arrested.
The work stations related to electrical till systems. The equipment, valued at £4380, was subsequently handed in to Crieff Police Station and returned to the hotel, added Ms Whyte.
Solicitor David Holmes said Sinclair had served in the Army for four years, including a posting in Iraq.
“He was extremely intoxicated at the time of the offence,” added the lawyer.
The court was told he had been made the subject of a nine-month Restriction of Liberty Order as part of a separate Community Payback Order after causing more than £2500-worth of damage when he broke into Intersport in Crieff High Street last September 27.
He had used a scaffolding pole to cave in the front window of the premises before making off with two Scotland rugby tops.
As well as being tagged and ordered to stay indoors from 7pm to 7am, he was also ordered to pay £700 in compensation.
The court was told he had previously abused alcohol and valium.