An Elgin man has escaped jail after being found guilty of stealing from the homes of pensioners in Keith, Lhanbryde and Huntly.
William Williamson, 57, had denied stealing from the women while involved in a family metal business that had been trading for around 40 years. He was found guilty following a trial.
Elgin Sheriff Court heard that Williamson stole jewellery from and 81-year-old woman when he was calling door to door in Keith on March 23, 2013. Two days later he stole a watch from the home of a 93-year-old woman in Lhanbryde.
The Press and Journal reported that Williamson’s agent, solicitor Ian Warburton, told the court: “Following this matter he has stopped and has no plans to resume this type of work. That my client is a first offender does note preclude him from a custodial sentence and he knows this is realistic in terms of what to expect.”
Acknowledging the seriousness of the offences, Sheriff Susan Raeburn said that as it was Williamson’s first offence she was prepared to deal with the matter through a non-custodial sentence, ordering Williamson to undertake 240 hours of unpaid work.
She said: “I would be fully justified in imposing a sentence of imprisonment. They accused preyed upon elderly and vulnerable individuals.”
The Sheriff warned Williamson, of Bridge Street in Elgin, that any breach of the supervised community service order would lead to him being jailed.