A chef who made 15 trips to his local supermarket to steal a single bottle of cider each time has been ordered to carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work.
Kevin Nairn said he had no idea why he was stealing the £5 bottles of cider on an almost daily basis and added he had let down his family.
He said he had created his own “buy one, get one free” deal by paying for one bottle while hiding another one to which he had helped himself.
Nairn, 59, stole so many bottles of the same cider in such a short period of time his local branch of Tesco noticed a stock shortfall.
At Perth Sheriff Court yesterday, Nairn said: “It just started so quickly. In the first incident I put one in my bag and one in the basket.
“I got home and realised I hadn’t paid for it and should probably have gone back. It got into my head and escalated over a period of time.
“I was getting one and paying for it and getting one for free each time. It should never have happened.
“It’s a totally regretful situation. I’ve let my family down.”
Sheriff William Wood said: “It just seems to me you have been a bit of an idiot.
“In the absence of any other reason it seems you got away with it once and it was a thrill, and you wanted to see how often you could get away with it.
“You will appreciate that because of the persistent nature of the offences, 15 charges on almost consecutive days, the court has to consider whether a custodial sentence is appropriate.
“It is only your age and the fact you are a first offender that is going to save you from that. This is the sort of thing that might seriously disrupt your life.
“Clearly there wasn’t a buy one, get one free deal on.”
Nairn, of Queens Road, Scone, admitted 15 identical charges of shoplifting from Tesco Express in Scone in a three-week period during October.
He started on October 5 and repeatedly returned to the shop to steal further bottles of cider until October 26.
Nairn had been accused of a further seven identical charges relating to allegations on October 27 and 29 and November 1, 2, 3, 5 and 13 but these were dropped by the Crown.
Depute fiscal Michael Sweeney said: “It was the same brand of cider taken on every occasion.
“The bottle cost £5. It came to the attention of staff when they realised there were stock issues.
“They reviewed the CCTV and found that the accused was responsible.”
As well as community payback, Nairn was ordered to pay Tesco £75 compensation.