A former professional boxer who broke into a hotel was caught red-handed by a vigilant member of staff who was locked down at home several miles away.
The staff member linked up their iPad to the hotel’s CCTV system and spotted Christopher Jones breaking into the bar and stealing a large-screen TV.
Jones, who has sight loss and walks with a white stick, was rifling through the Station Hotel in Perth when police turned up to arrest him on March 28.
Yesterday, at Dundee Sheriff Court, Jones, 45, was jailed for eight months after he admitted breaking into the hotel and stealing items worth £550.
The court was told he had also broken into the city’s Willows Coffee Shop two days earlier and stolen £5 from the staff tip jars to buy food.
Sheriff Derek Reekie jailed him for both offences and said: “The nature of the offences are sufficiently serious that there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.”
In both cases Jones, who has a heroin habit, had stuffed his pockets with sachets of coffee, tea and sugar, and claimed he needed money for drugs and food.
Depute-fiscal Jill Drummond said: “The witness was a staff member, but they were in their home address when they started viewing CCTV footage on their iPad.
“They observed a male within the bar area at around 6.30pm… They observed the male taking the TV off the wall and removing it from the bar area.”
She said the witness contacted the police, who traced Jones in a function room and arrested him. They found a large TV on a trolley in the kitchen.
The prosecutor said Jones had been released on a bail undertaking two days earlier after he was arrested for breaking into Willows and stealing £5. In that incident, a review of the CCTV showed that Jones had broken through a locked gate to enter the shop but he was immediately recognised by police.
Solicitor David Holmes, defending, said: “He was a professional boxer in his youth and found it difficult to cope with the loss of his sight and the loss of his employment.
“Mental health problems followed and he started taking heroin. He thought he could deal with that himself but he was not able to. He started taking heroin after the loss of his eyesight.”
Jones, from Perth, was previously convicted of causing £100,000 of damage after trying to blow up his block of flats in Dundee’s Park Avenue in 2017.
He was jailed for two years for that offence, and for a further six months last year when he admitted breaking into a Church of Scotland manse in Kinloch Rannoch.