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Thief jailed after plundering charity cash raised for families in need from Kirkcaldy community centre

Thief stole money raised for the Cottage Family Centre's Christmas appeal for families living in poverty
Thief stole money raised for the Cottage Family Centre's Christmas appeal for families living in poverty

A drug addict who stole money raised to feed families in need at Christmas has been jailed.

Michael Wilson, 39, broke into a Kirkcaldy community centre after a fundraiser had been held for the Cottage Family’s Centre annual festive appeal.

The charity provides food and gifts for hundreds of families living in poverty and organisers of a Christmas fair were devastated to learn proceeds were gone.

Wilson, who committed the theft to feed his drug habit just days after being released from jail, admitted breaking into Hayfield Community Centre on December 3 and stealing money and computer equipment.

He was caught when a hard drive he took from the CCTV system and threw away in the street was found and given to police.

Wilson, a prisoner at Perth, appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

Depute fiscal Ron Hay said proceeds from the charity event had been locked in a filing cabinet and the premises were secured at 1pm on December 2.

A staff member arrived at 6.30am the following day and found a door unlocked.


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It appeared a fire door had been jemmied open and, the court was told, two laptops worth £500 each and £600 in cash taken.

When police viewed footage from the stolen CCTV hard drive, which a member of the public found, they saw Wilson walk down a lane next to the centre shortly after midnight and hide behind bins as vehicles passed. Wilson then walked towards the fire exit.

Wilson also admitted stealing groceries from the Co-op, Lauder Road, Kirkcaldy on December 8.

His solicitor David Bell admitted his client had a “significant record of similar offending”.

He said Wilson had a history of drug misuse and at the time of these offences was taking heroin and crack cocaine.

“He was trying to raise funds to pay for this addiction,” he added.

“Having gone to the trouble of taking the hard drive it was then found abandoned on a path, which was not the smartest move and perhaps an indication of his condition at the time.”

Wilson had only been released from jail in November.

Sheriff Pino di Emidio jailed Wilson for 22 months, backdated to December 16 when he was taken into custody.

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