A sheriff has warned that shoplifting at a Dunfermline store is reaching a “crisis”.
Sheriff James MacDonald said: “It is little wonder that Debenhams is in financial difficulties. I’m beginning to wonder if anyone buys anything from its Dunfermline store.”
Thieves regularly appear at Dunfermline Sheriff Court having been caught stealing goods from Debenhams and other stores in the Kingsgate Centre.
The centre is situated opposite the court building and immediately next door to a homeless hostel.
The latest culprit to appear in the dock was James Henderson, 41, of Gilfillan Road, Dunfermline, who formerly lived at the hostel.
He admitted that on February 8 he stole a bottle of perfume from Debenhams worth £82.20.
Henderson should have been sentenced on May 1 but after speaking to his solicitor left court before his case was called.
He appeared from custody after a warrant was granted.
Solicitor Danielle Varela said her client, who had mental health issues, now had his own tenancy after a spell in the James Bank homeless hostel.
She added: “He has an unenviable record and is no stranger to the court.
“He has a long-standing problem with drugs and has spent much of his adult life in jail.”
Sheriff MacDonald imposed a community payback order with 18 months’ supervision.
Henderson must engage in treatment for his mental health and substance abuse problems.
The sheriff warned Henderson: “Be under no illusion this is a direct alternative to custody.”