A drug-addled housebreaker raided the home of an 80-year-old widow while she was sleeping.
Gary Gibson, a prisoner at Perth, had taken Valium before he broke into Norma Morton’s home in Lorraine Road, just off Pitkerro Road.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard he had little or no recollection of the crime, which left Mrs Morton — a retired teacher — shocked.
Gibson stole her leather handbag and its contents, which included a purse with bank cards, cash, a plastic card holder with a bus pass and various vouchers, a mobile phone and cigarettes.
The 27-year-old committed the raid while out on bail.
Speaking to the Tele about the incident, Mrs Morton — who said she felt sorry for the thief — said she had slept through the break-in and only discovered it when she went to her kitchen to put the kettle on. She added: “Obviously, I was shocked and upset but I’m fairly resilient and it hasn’t left me overly worried or anxious.”
Gibson admitted breaking into Mrs Morton’s house on October 1.
He told the court: “I wouldn’t have done it if I knew it was an elderly person.”
Sheriff Alastair Brown told Gibson he took that into account but added: “The fact that it was an elderly person is a feature that makes it worse.”
Jailing Gibson for 14 months, he told him: “When you break into somebody’s home, you create feelings of violation and insecurity. It’s the emotional consequences that make housebreaking a particularly hideous crime.”
Fiscal depute Charmaine Gilmartin said the OAP had been in bed, with all the doors and windows locked.
She added: “At around 6am, she heard a crashing noise but, hearing nothing else, she presumed something had just fallen over. At 7.20am she went through to the kitchen and saw the window was open and her handbag was missing.”
The value of the stolen goods was £110 and a police probe showed the accused had attempted to use the bank card at a machine at the Co-op in Albert Street.
Solicitor Anne Duffy said Gibson had started offending at the age of 16, fell into heroin abuse at 17 and had been using drugs ever since. He was currently serving a sentence and his earliest release date was January 18 2018.