A “one-man crime wave” has been jailed for 30 months after admitting 20 shoplifting offences and five other charges.
Steven William Potter, 38, appeared by video link at Inverness Sheriff Court to be sentenced on 17 different cases which covered a two-year period.
They included the dishonesty offences plus two of drugs possession, one of possessing a weapon and two of bail breaches.
One high-value theft involved stealing £1,000 of clothing from Inverness outdoor store Tiso.
‘Crack cocaine habit he’s powerless to resist’
Potter, of Kessock Road, Inverness, was represented by solicitor Marc Dickson who explained that his client’s offending was down to his drug addiction.
He told Sheriff Sara Matheson: “Sadly he has been drug addicted for a number of decades. He began dabbling with cannabis, valium and alcohol and it developed into an opiate addiction.
“Now worryingly, he has a crack cocaine habit and is powerless to resist.
“He tells me he was spending £100 to £200 a day and his offending was to fund his habit and pay his significant drug debt.
“In some instances, he was being used by others to go into premises and remove items, thereby putting himself at risk.
“However he is desperately keen to do something about his life difficulties.”
Jailing Potter after reading a background report, Sheriff Matheson praised Mr Dickson for his “articulate plea” but said there was no alternative to a custodial sentence.
She said: “You were a one-man crime wave across the Highlands. Reading the report, you have had a horrible childhood which doubtless led to your difficulties.”
The sheriff expressed the hope that Potter would use his time wisely in prison to alter his lifestyle, adding: “But it is up to you to make the change.”