Fochabers man failed to grasp opportunity to remain free

A FOCHABERS MAN who was caught with valuable racing pigeons stuck up his jumper failed to take the opportunity not to be cooped up in jail and landed back at Elgin Sheriff Court this week.

Over an 18-month period Dean Wells, 22, stole 31 pigeons valued at an estimated £2750 from two pigeon lofts in Elgin.

Wells, from Slorachs Brae in Fochabers, had also admitted assault charges, attempting to sell a stolen phone and breaching the conditions of his bail.

At an earlier court appearance Wells was sentenced to undertake a period of unpaid work – however, after failing to make “meaningful progress” on that the community payback orders were revoked and Sheriff John Halley sentenced Wells to six months in custody.

Sheriff Halley told Wells that the pigeons were “of significant value”, adding that he had been given an opportunity by Sheriff Raeburn to deal with matters in a positive manner – but had now reached the end of the road.

The court had been reminded that Wells had broken into David Reid’s shed on Hermes Road in Elgin on December 13, 2013 and stole nine birds worth £550. Later that day a witness had spotted Wells in the garden of Mr Reid’s brother on Pringle Road.

He was “holding a pigeon with his jumper bulging out” with the witness suspecting more pigeons where under his clothing. A year later Wells returned to the coops belonging to the brothers and stole a further 19 pigeons valued at £2200.

Multiple birds were found in two cupboards in Well’s bedroom at his girlfriend’s address in Elgin two days after the 2014 thefts. They had their security rings removed which rendered them worthless.