A “BRAZEN” thief was in the dock at Alloa Sheriff Court to face sentencing for a dozen shoplifting charges last week.

Raymond Banner appeared from custody to find out his fate on Thursday, January 9, having been remanded by Sheriff David Mackie last month.

The 40-year-old was repeatedly caught stealing juice, sweets and other foodstuffs from shops in the town between April and November last year.

He also breached bail conditions on three occasions during that period.

In outlining the problems that led to her client appearing in court, solicitor Kelly Howe said: “In general, it’s persistent shoplifting.

“Thereafter it was ignoring a court order that was in place designed to protect premises from which he was shoplifting regularly.

“Your Lordship can see from his record he has an entrenched pattern of drug misuse that’s not yet under control.”

She mentioned that Banner had been trying to address his drug problems while in the community, but experienced difficulties after money was deducted from his benefits.

Looking to cut to the chase, Sheriff Pino di Emidio asked Ms Howe what options he had in sentencing her client for the "brazen" offences.

She replied that Banner was aware he could be facing a potential custodial sentence, but asked for a community payback order to be imposed instead.

Referring to a criminal justice social work report, she said there was a plan outlined within it which would allow her client to be rehabilitated within the community.

But Sheriff Emidio took issue with that claim, and said: “[The report] explicitly says, the writer is struggling to identify any area where [non-custodial sentences] have made a difference in his life.”

Ms Howe responded by pointing out Banner had his own tenancy on Union Street, Tillicoultry, and any period of imprisonment would likely lead to him losing that.

She outlined the consequence of that would be that Banner would lose one of the only sources of stability in his life.

Sheriff Emidio then told Banner: “Sheriff Mackie fired a serious warning shot by remanding you for 35 days.”

And after urging him to heed that warning, he imposed a community payback order with the requirement that Banner undergo supervision for one year.

He also placed him on a curfew for a period of four months, and deferred sentencing of several other matters until March 5.

The sheriff warned Banner that he would remain on bail until that date, and was expected to comply with the condition not to enter the shops he’d frequently stolen from.