An Aberdeen charity worker was forced to go to a foodbank after a brazen thief stole all her money while she was volunteering in a shop.
Julie-Anne Butchart, 33, was working at Stella’s Voice on King Street on December 14 2018 when her purse was stolen.
Steven Lockhart sneaked into the back of the premises and took it when she was busy serving customers.
The 45-year-old was captured on CCTV doing a loop of the store just before the theft.
Julie-Anne later realised all her money was missing and was forced to go to a foodbank to get food for her and her family to eat before Christmas.
Julie-Anne, who is the vice-chairwoman of Castlehill and Pittodrie Community Council, said: “I had put my bag through the back of the store, in front of the microwave, and when I went to buy an item from the store at the end of the day my purse was gone.
“The thief had gone into the staff area and within seconds stolen my purse.
“I was devastated that it happened so close to Christmas.
“He stole the last £40 I had, and to have to go to a foodbank because someone has stolen your purse is horrible.
“It also felt like my son’s money he stole, who was four at the time it happened.”
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Lockhart, of Bedford Road, Aberdeen, was fined £350 and ordered to pay £75 in compensation when he appeared at the city’s Sheriff Court this week.
Defence lawyer Christopher Maitland said the theft came at a time when Lockhart’s drug use had “spiralled out of control”.
Julie-Anne said she had been so badly affected she almost gave up her charity role.
She said: “I almost didn’t go back to volunteering after it happened, it shattered my world. Giving back to people is an integral part of my life and I was gutted.
“But I went back to volunteering for the happiness it gave me, and the people I’ve met through it.
“Since then I’ve been vigilant with other volunteers, and made sure that they had their belongings locked away in a cupboard. It’s really sad that it had come to this.”