South Scotland

Heroin addict jailed for robbery

Selkirk Sheriff Court
Image caption Hitchings was jailed for nine months at Selkirk Sheriff Court

A heroin addict who robbed a disabled 73-year-old woman in Galashiels has been jailed for nine months.

Leon Hitchings, 32, of Newtown St Boswells, followed the pensioner as she left a shop near the sheltered housing complex where she lived as he was desperate for money to buy drugs.

He then knocked her to the ground and snatched her handbag and stole £60.

Before jailing Hitchings, Sheriff Kevin Drummond described it as a "tragic case".

Hitchings had previously admitted committing the offence in April this year.

Selkirk Sheriff Court was told that he had sold the entire contents of his home to pay for drugs.

'Terrible addiction'

He previously owned two homes, had a family and a good job before the heroin addiction took over.

The sheriff said: "You were an able and competent man from a good background but then you get yourself in the hold of this terrible addiction.

"It is that which has brought you here today selling all your goods, shoplifting and eventually driven to rob an old lady in the street."

However, he added: "The first responsibility of the court is the protection of the public and in particular vulnerable members of the community."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites