A serial thief has been jailed after he told a mourner he needed a lift to the hospital because his girlfriend was in labour – then stole her handbag.
Alexander Murison, 48, preyed on the good nature of the woman, who was going to a funeral later in the day, and swiped her handbag while sitting in the back of her car.
Fiscal depute Lynzi Souter told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the woman’s purse, which contained £90 in cash along with bank cards, was in her handbag in the vehicle.
The woman, who had also picked up her friend with the intention of later going to a funeral, was approached by Murison on August 2.
Mrs Souter said: “He stated he needed a lift to the hospital as his girlfriend had just gone into labour.
“She agreed and the accused sat in the rear of the car.
“She drove towards the maternity hospital and parked in Cornhill Road near the entrance. She got out to help the accused out of the back of the car.
“At this time she noticed that the accused had put her jacket on and she challenged him about that and he gave it back.”
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Mrs Souter said the woman’s friend told her Murison had had his hand in her handbag. She called after Murison, who denied having the bag, and she later recognised Murison from a post on Facebook and cancelled her bank cards.
Murison, of Regent Court, Aberdeen, pled guilty to a charge of theft over the matter. He also admitted a further three charges of theft, seven of shoplifting, three of fraudulently using bank cards and one of attempting to steal a charity collection tin.
Defence agent George Mathers said his client had an “absolutely horrific” number of previous convictions, adding: “Mr Murison advises all the offences were committed impulsively whenever he saw an opportunity. When he’s out of prison he simply commits offence after offence until he gets caught.
“He’s now 40 years old and realises he can’t go on like this.”
Sheriff Ian Wallace jailed Murison for 12 months and four days, telling him: “Not only did you steal but you also exploited other people’s trust and kindness.”