A crook has avoided Porridge this Christmas despite carrying out a Ronnie Barker-inspired crime after stealing a number of candles.
Ian Hamilton, a prisoner at HMP Perth, pleaded guilty to stealing four candles – famously confused with fork handles in a Two Ronnies sketch – at the Card Factory in the Murraygate.
Hamilton, who appeared from custody having been sentenced for a separate crime, was due to be released from prison on Friday.
He has had his sentence deferred until March to be of good behaviour and seek help from drug addiction agencies in the city and was released.
Defence solicitor Anika Jethwa said Hamilton was inspired to clean up his act after his mother became seriously ill.
She told Dundee Sheriff Court: “Mr Hamilton has a dreadful record and he can’t get away from that.
“He is currently serving a sentence which is due to expire on Friday. He has a deferred sentence from Sheriff Drummond to be of good behaviour.
“His mother is currently in a coma in Ninewells hospital and she is due to be transferred soon to Royal Victoria. It is clear nothing further can be done for her.
“Mr Hamilton’s mother’s condition has motivated him and he is anxious to take up what is on offer.”
Depute fiscal Isma Mukhtar told Dundee Sheriff Court Hamilton had been caught shoplifting at the city centre store and four candles – worth £19 – were put in a hold-all.
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael deferred sentence on Hamilton until March 6 for him to be of good behaviour.
Hamilton, of Murrayfield Terrace, pleaded guilty to stealing a quantity of candles from Card Factory on Murraygate on October 11.
Sheriff Carmichael said: “As far as this is concerned, I am going to continue this matter for you to be of good behaviour and work with drug agencies.
“You have been given a second chance here.”
In the famous sketch by the Two Ronnies, Ronnie Barker’s tradesman character continually confuses Ronnie Corbett’s shopkeeper with his requests.
His request for “fork handles” is misinterpreted as “four candles” in a skit loved by millions.