When a prowler around Lanark properties was caught by police in suspicious circumstances, it was discovered he’d just recently completed a jail sentence.
And he made a rapid return behind bars at Lanark Sheriff Court on Thursday.
Appearing from custody, John Paton, 43, of Wide Close, Lanark, pleaded guilty to having, on March 29, been in the gardens of a house in Greenside Lane and another in Cleghorn Court in circumstances from which it could be inferred he was there to commit theft.
His plea of not guilty to being in the grounds of Christ Church Hall on Cleghorn Road on the same night and in the same circumstances was accepted by the Crown.
Depute fiscal Vish Kathuria told the court that, at around 10pm, a member of the public spotted Paton in the garden of the Greenside Lane property; he was carrying what looked like a torch attached to a long stick.
Challenged by the member of the public, Paton claimed to be looking for a friend and moved on a few minutes later.
Shortly afterwards a householder in Cleghorn Court heard someone unsuccessfully trying to open her locked door and looked out to see Paton walking away, holding a crowbar. This was nowhere to be seen by the time the police arrived and arrested him shortly afterwards, the first member of public having reported Paton’s suspicious actions.
Sheriff Robert Weir said that he noted that Paton had been re-homed in Lanark just weeks after release from jail. He sent him back to prison for six months.