Stole console and laptop after breaking into neighbour’s flat

Church Square in Galashiels.
Church Square in Galashiels.

A woman who admitted breaking into a neighbour’s flat and stealing a games console and laptop computer has been spared a custodial sentence.

Catrina Aprile, 37, pleaded guilty at Selkirk Sheriff Court to stealing the items during a break-in at the house in Church Square in Galashiels between April 20 and April 24 last year.

She admitted the charges last month and sentence was deferred until Monday for a criminal justice social work report and a restriction-of-liberty order assessment.

On Monday, the court heard how Aprile targeted her neighbour’s flat while he was spending a weekend in hospital.

The victim returned home to find his door unlocked, a window broken through, and his laptop and XBox 360 games console missing.

Blood found on the window proved a DNA match with Aprile, who police found at the town’s Cash It In store. She was said to be drunk and not fit for interview at that time.

Her defence lawyer told the court Aprile was using drugs at the time.

“She was involved in a chaotic lifestyle at the time and doesn’t remember the incident,” he said.

“She tells me she does have insight into how her actions would have affected the victim and is deeply remorseful.

“Since this incident, Miss Aprile has cut down on drug use.”

Sheriff Peter Paterson ordered she undertake a 20-month drug treatment programme, 200 hours of unpaid work over the next 12 months and pay £200 compensation to the victim.

He warned this was an alternative to custody and would be reviewed in three months time.

At the same time Aprile admitted being in possession of controlled drug Diazepam to the value of £20 in the town’s Bank Street on July 20. She is ordained to appear for that offence on October 21.