Highlands & Islands

Man stole from Holocaust survivor

Inverness Sheriff Court. Pic: Crown copyright
Image caption The court heard that Jozef Morris was well-known in Inverness

A sheriff has described the theft of £400 from a Holocaust survivor as "despicable".

George Lindsay, 38, admitted taking the money from Jozef Morris' home in June this year.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that Mr Morris escaped to Scotland from Poland in 1940.

Sheriff Margaret Neilson said Lindsay had an "appalling" record for previous convictions and sentenced him to nine months in prison.

The court heard that Mr Morris was well-known in Inverness.

Depute fiscal Sharon Ralph said he had sold cars and, though he suffered from dementia, continued to deal in second-hand car sales.

She said: "He is deemed to be very vulnerable because of his confused state from time to time."

Mr Morris had collected his pension on the day of the theft.

The court was told Lindsay and a companion later went to pensioner's home and visitors to a neighbour's house heard a commotion.

Ms Ralph: "They saw two men coming out of the premises and Mr Morris was seen to be agitated and upset.

"He informed his neighbours that money had been taken from the house. The neighbours ultimately alerted the police to the incident."

Officers searched the area and found a wallet belonging to Mr Morris.

They later detained Lindsay.

'Appalling record'

Defence lawyer Graeme Mann said his client had had previous associations with Mr Morris.

He said Lindsay believed Mr Morris owed him money and had "taken matters into his own hands".

The solicitor added that Mr Morris' condition "may go towards explaining what happened".

However, Mr Mann accepted Lindsay was wrong to recover the money in the way he had.

Sheriff Neilson told Lindsay: "You have an appalling record.

"This was a despicable theft from a vulnerable victim."

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