An audacious thief who used a digger to steal a cash machie has been jailed for three years.
John Fenwick, 25, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court over the theft of an ATM from Scotmid Foods on Craigour Road, Torphins.
Chains were attached to the cash machine to lift it into the boot of a gold Chrysler car.
But the getaway was foiled when the car broke down.
Fenwick, whose address was given in court papers as the prison of Low Moss in Glasgow, pled guilty to breaking into Scotmid Foods and stealing an ATM and its contents while acting with others.
The offence happened overnight between February 27 and 28 and the ATM, which cost £3,500 to replace, contained £44,000 which was recovered.
Ross Dow, Fenwick’s solicitor, described the gang’s effort as “botched”, adding: “The machine ultimately slipped out of the car and then they abandoned it.”
He said: “The reason my client succumbed to temptation is because his partner was heavily pregnant and he had lost his employment.
“He was struggling. He was offered £1,000 for the job and succumbed to temptation. There was no threats of violence or anything like that. No weapons used.”
Mr Down said his client had initially understood they were going to steal a wood chipper before the plan changed and they targeted the cash machine. He continued: “He was meant to be a driver on the way down with a wood chipper which had been seen in a rural location which they though they might be able to steal and sell on.
“That’s why he was up in the area. He was the forklift driver.
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“It’s important to stress that was not something he thought was ever going to happen. My client’s position from the outset is it was supposed to be a wood chipper, ‘I was supposed to drive it’, and on the way this happened and he went along with it.”
Sheriff Morag McLaughlin said the offence was “extremely serious” and “must attract a significant sentence”.
She jailed him for 36 months.
In June Michael Broomfield, a prisoner of HMP Grampian, pled guilty to theft of a vehicle and to breaking into Scotmid Foods and stealing an ATM, all while acting along with others, and was jailed for four years and four months.