30-year-old hit with £225 court bill for stealing purse left outside Hawick supermarket

An opportunist thief has been hit with a £225 court bill for stealing a purse left on a bench outside a Hawick supermarket.

Sainsbury's at Hawick.
Sainsbury's at Hawick.

Claire Condie, 30, of Allars Bank in Hawick, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft of the purse by finding it on August 23 and making no attempt to find its rightful owner.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court was told £40 in cash and cards in the purse had not been recovered.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said the offence was committed at around 11.15am outside the Sainsbury’s store in Commercial Road.

He explained: “A lady who had been shopping had left her purse lying on the bench.

“The accused saw the purse and picked it up. By the time the lady realised her purse was missing and returned to where she had been sitting, it was gone, but it was all captured on CCTV and the accused was recognised.

“She did not appear particularly upset at being caught.”

Mr Fraser said the total financial impact of the loss on the victim was £73.

Defence lawyer Ed Hulme said: “It was pure opportunism. The purse was left unsupervised on the bench and temptation got the better of her.

“She noticed someone had come looking for the purse, and she felt it was more difficult to come clean so she decided to put the purse and contents in a nearby bin.

“She was not surprised when the police came round two weeks later, but, to be clear, she is mortified about it.”

Sheriff Valerie Johnston imposed a fine of £150 on Condie, receiving £291 a fortnight in universal credit, as well as a £75 compensation order.