A thief has been jailed after breaking into an Aberdeen bar, using cutlery to force open tills – and then stopping to enjoy a bottle of wine.
Lee Paterson, 31, broke into the Revolution bar on Belmont Street while the venue was closed due to Covid-19, and fled with boxes of wine and champagne worth £200.
And the 31-year-old later, after being arrested in relation to another offence, told cops he had coronavirus symptoms and coughed into the face of one officer.
Paterson previously pled guilty over a string of offences.
He admitted two charges of theft by housebreaking, reset of a stolen motorbike, driving while disqualified and without insurance, and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.
Sentence was deferred for reports, but now Paterson appeared in court again to find out his punishment.
Defence agent Paul Barnett said: “He does come from a difficult background.
“He was asked to leave home aged 16 because he had already begun using drugs.
“Things thereafter very quickly spiralled out of control.
“Sadly he had his first conviction aged 15, and his first period of detention aged 17.
“Since that time he’s been in and out of jail.
“He has expressed a strong desire to change and break the cycle.”
Mr Barnett added his client was “remorseful”.
Sheriff William Summers told Paterson, a prisoner of HMP Grampian: “You will recognise these offences are serious. These offences were committed against the backdrop of you having a quite appalling record of previous convictions.”
The sheriff said the coughing incident was of “particular concern” and “utterly deplorable”.
He ordered Paterson to be jailed for 12 months in relation to an unexpired portion of a previous sentence, and a further 12 months over the new offences.
The sheriff explained he would have imposed 22 months but deducted 10 months due to the time Paterson had been remanded.
Speaking at a previous hearing when Paterson first pled guilty, fiscal depute Christy Ward told Aberdeen Sheriff Court a manager at the bar received a call to inform him an alarm had been activated at Revolution at 6.45am on August 20.
When he got there he saw that entry to the bar had been forced. On checking CCTV he saw Paterson and an unidentified man making their way in to the premises just before 6.30am.
Ms Ward said: “They are seen to use cutlery to force open the tills, however, due to the locus being closed no money was being kept in them.
“They went behind the bar and drank from a bottle of wine, which they left on a table.
“The accused and the unidentified male then went to the second floor and took a box of wine and a box of champagne before leaving.”
Ms Ward said the damage to the entrance cost around £200 to repair, with the stolen booze costing another £200.
In an earlier incident, Paterson broke into a ground floor flat on Rosebank Place, Aberdeen, on August 10, stealing a guitar, laptop, iPad, Xbox controller and cash worth a total of £2,420.
He was caught after DNA analysis matched blood found on the kitchen door frame to him.
On August 27 Paterson was spotted riding a stolen motorbike on Froghall Road and Elmbank Terrace and elsewhere in the city while disqualified and uninsured.
When he was arrested in connection with that matter and taken to Kittybrewster station Paterson where he told officers he had Covid-19 symptoms and was asked to wear a mask.
Ms Ward said: “At about 1.35am the accused removed his mask and coughed in the face of a constable, who was wearing full PPE.”