A pair of “ridiculous” thieves who stole lobsters while they were “on a jolly” at Arbroath Harbour were sentenced at Forfar Sheriff Court.
Arbroath men Raymond Johnston and Jamie Mitchell swiped cages full of lobsters that were hanging in the waters of the town’s harbour on two occasions in October last year.
They made off with the valuable haul on their bikes, but were caught on harbour CCTV.
Johnston, 29, of Millgate Loan and 17-year-old Mitchell from Stoneycroft Lane, previously admitted two charges of stealing lobsters from Arbroath Harbour on October 10 and 13.
The court previously heard from depute fiscal Jill Drummond that it was normal practice among fishermen to leave the live lobsters submerged in a keep cage at the harbour to keep them fresh for sale. The value of the stolen lobsters was put at £140.
In the October 10 incident, a fisherman checked the keep cage around 10am and there were around 20 lobsters in it at that time.
A witness saw the two accused cycling in the harbour area and when the fisherman left they untied the cage and made off with the lobsters.
The second theft was discovered around 6.30am on October 13.
The pair were caught when police reviewed the harbour’s CCTV footage, which led to a confession by both men.
Defence agent Nick Whelan, representing Johnston, said: “The theft of thelobsters was ridiculous and done on the spur of the moment after they had gone on a jolly to the harbour.”
He said Johnstone had problems with drugs and alcohol.
Mr Whelan added that his client’s rate of offending had significantly decreased over the past 18 months.
Mitchell’s agent Billy Rennie said his client was a first offender but did acknowledge he had other court matters outstanding.
Turning to Johnston, Sheriff Gregor Murray said: “I accept your rate of offending has diminished after the release from your last (prison) sentence.
“You have an appalling record but I am persuaded there is an alternative to custody. I order you to 200 hours of unpaid work.”
He placed Mitchell on a lowtariff structured deferred sentence for three months.