A drug addict thief who snatched a schoolgirl’s purse as she waited on her morning bus in Forfar town centre has been jailed for four months.
Callous opportunist Jamie Cormie fled empty-handed after he was rugby tackled following the theft from the 15-year-old as he waited for a nearby pharmacy to open to get his daily methadone.
Cormie wrote a letter to the victim and her family expressing his remorse over the desperate crime, but a sheriff told the 24-year-old his terrible record of previous offending meant that jail was inevitable when he appeared for sentence at Forfar Sheriff Court on Thursday.
He previously appeared from custody having been arrested within minutes of the offence on November 6 at the bus stance on the Angus town’s East High Street, which the court heard happened just before 8.30am.
Depute fiscal Stewart Duncan said Cormie, who admitted the theft, had tried to engage the youngster in conversation and introduced himself as Jamie, but as her bus arrived and she took out her purse he grabbed it and ran.
As the teenager shouted for someone to stop Cormie, a passer-by who knew the accused firstly grabbed his jacket and then rugby-tackled him to get the purse back.
The girl was left crying and extremely distressed, but got on her school bus when it arrived minutes later, the court heard.
Cormie, of Glenmoy Terrace, Forfar, told police: “I didnae hae a clue. I was down the street for my methadone.
“I did it out of desperation. I had no gas or electric,” he added.
Defence solicitor Nick Markowski urged the court to give Cormie a chance to escape the “revolving door” of custody and re-offending.
“He has written a letter of apology to the girl and her family and he has asked me to apologise publicly, as he did when he appeared from custody,” said the lawyer.
“He is embarrassed and ashamed by this offence. He has a history of drug addiction difficulties and has served a number of sentences, the last of which he was released from in May.”
Mr Markwoski added: “He now has his own tenancy and has been attempting to tackle his addiction difficulties on a voluntary basis.
“This was not planned, it was impulsive and he got just a few yards. He appreciates he overstepped the mark and if he could turn the clock back he would.”
Sheriff Alison McKay told Cormie: “Your solicitor has said everything positive that he possibly can on your behalf, but the victim in this case is a girl who was clearly in her school uniform.
“Bearing in mind your record and the circumstances, there is no alternative but to send you to custody.”