Shop theft man to keep his winnings

A PAISLEY resident was found guilty of stealing between £70 and £80 from a Rothesay newsagent at the town’s sheriff court this week.

And though evidence was also given that Wilson had wagered a similar sum at a local betting shop later that day – and had won more than £1,000 as a result – an application to have his winnings seized as the proceeds of crime was turned down by Sheriff John Herald.

Two employees at Ray’s Newsagent in High Street said Wilson had come in at around 1pm on April 24, reached behind the counter and stolen a bag containing money and receipts from customers’ top-up payments.

A member of staff from the local branch of Ladbrokes gave the court information about a ticket issued by a ‘Cash Quest’ machine in the shop, which stated that Wilson – who lived in a flat in High Street at the time – had won £1,093.60 at 1.52pm that day; she said her recollection was that Wilson’s stake had been roughly £72.

Police constable Andrew Hogg told the court Wilson’s flat had been searched with his permission later that day, and that receipts from the shop’s top up machine had been found in the lounge.

PC Hogg said Wilson had told them money taken from the shop had been put in his cooker, but on searching the appliance, no cash was found.

Wilson (20), whose address was given as 184B Braehead Road, Paisley, then told officers he had “a stash of cash” elsewhere, and took officers to the rear of a local licensed premises, where a sum of £1,200 was found hidden underneath a bucket.

Sheriff Herald, however, did not accept a submission made by fiscal depute Lindy Scaife that Wilson’s winnings represented the proceeds of crime and should therefore be seized.

The sheriff decided instead that the accused had had “a bad day and a good day”.

Wilson, who was jailed for 93 days for the theft, also faced sentencing on Monday on two unrelated road traffic matters.

He was admonished for driving an unlicensed vehicle with a provisional licence and for driving without insurance in the High Street on April 23, and was given six penalty points on the latter charge.