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Former Perthshire golf club boss ordered to pay back stolen money from late night raids

David Kearney broke into Pitlochry Golf Club three times.

A former Perthshire golf club boss has been ordered to pay back the cash he stole from his ex-employer during a string of nocturnal raids.

David Kearney previously admitted to breaking into Pitlochry Golf Club three times, stealing from the club on two occasions and intending to do so again on his final trip.

Fiscal depute Nicole Lewis explained Kearney left his employment as general manager  in September, just weeks before his thieving spree began.

She told Perth Sheriff Court bagged takings were placed in a safe, which was within a small cupboard in the kitchen.

A spare key was kept in a box outside the golf club and Kearney was aware of this.

On October 3, Kearney sneaked into the club in the small hours of the morning and raided the safe.

David Kearney broke into Pitlochry Golf Club three times.

Two days later, an employee reported that the safe was £100 down.

A week later, Kearney returned to plunder more cash from his former employer.

The same employee reported on October 11 that while there should be three bags of money in the safe, there were only two.

They confirmed the value of the missing bag was £373.50.

Foiled by enhanced security

Staff checked CCTV but saw nothing at this stage, so moved onto checking the alarm system.

It was found an intruder had deactivated the security system at 4.15am on October 11.

Management continued to backtrack through the system log and found the alarms had also been switched off at 4.12am on the previous entry.

The following day, police were contacted and new CCTV cameras were installed at the Highland Perthshire club.

At 1.10am on October 25, a staff member received an activation alert from the newly-installed security cameras.

The footage showed the late night raider was 46-year-old Kearney, returning to raid his old workplace and the information was passed to police.

“Not welcome back”

Kearney’s defence solicitor Billy Somerville said: “Around this time, he had financial problems and had problems at home.

“He has taken initial steps to address the various problems.”

Mr Somerville also explained Kearney, of nearby Lagreach Brae, had stopped drinking alcohol.

“He’s not made any repayments yet as he’s not welcome at the locus,” Mr Somerville added.

Kearney had been warned imprisonment was a possibility following his guilty plea at a hearing last month.

Sheriff Alison Michie ordered Kearney to pay back the cash by this time next year.

She also placed Kearney under supervision for a year and instructed him to complete 130 hours of unpaid work.

The sheriff labelled his actions a “breach of trust.”

She said: “I have heard what’s been said on your behalf.

“You’ve never before come to the attention of the court.

“Nevertheless, I do consider these are serious matters.”

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