A serial offender who stole hundreds of pounds worth of alcohol from the bedroom of one of Scotland’s leading clergymen has been jailed for 30 months.
Perth Sheriff Court heard that Simon Winks, 36, a prisoner in Perth, was caught with fine wines, whisky and cognac after breaking into the home of The Right Reverend Monsignor Hugh McInally while he was on holiday.
The accused has 24 prior custodial sentences and has a criminal record dating back 20 years.
The court heard that Winks was caught with the alcohol in a holdall at a bus shelter after police found the 80-year-old’s house had been robbed.
Depute fiscal Carol Whyte said: “Monsignor McInally asked someone who works in a nearby store to keep an eye on his premises whilst he was on holiday.
“That witness saw Winks and another man at the bus stop. Later that day they were seen walking back and the accused was carrying a holdall.”
The court heard Winks told police he had bought the alcohol from Polish workers.
Mrs Whyte said a dog walker noticed damage to the door of the Monsignor’s home and phoned the police.
“There was a large wine rack in the bedroom and it had numerous bottles missing,” she added. “Winks was seen on a neighbour’s CCTV system.”
The court heard that Winks had caused around £800 worth of damage to the property by breaking in and had stolen around £500 worth of alcohol.
Solicitor Anne Johnson, defending, said her client chose the clergyman’s house “at random” and “felt worse” when he found out it belonged to a man of the cloth.
“My client has 24 custodial sentences and marked the 20th anniversary of his first offending in November,” she said.
“My client got into contact with former colleagues and went back to taking drugs, particularly valium. He told me had taken a substantial quantity.”
Winks admitted breaking into the house of Monsignor McInally in the Carse of Gowrie on July 17 last year and stealing a quantity of alcohol, two holdalls and a mobile phone.
Sheriff Fiona Tait sentenced Winks to 30 months in jail, backdated to July 24 last year, and also ordered him to be supervised upon his release from prison for 12 months.