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Thief who stole Inverness family's Christmas presents is told his crime was 'mean and nasty'


By Ali Morrison


Inverness Sheriff Court.
Inverness Sheriff Court.

A man stole a car and Christmas presents at an Inverness home as he travelled home after being released from prison.

James Joyce went to the property in Glenurquhart Road, Inverness and took Christmas presents and the keys for the car before driving off in the early hours of the morning.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard James Joyce, whose address was given as Low Moss Prison, had appeared in court in Kilmarnock on December 8 last year and was released when the trial he was involved in there collapsed.

He subsequently managed to make his way to Inverness but had no means of travelling further, to his home in Kyle of Lochalsh.

Joyce (34) stole the car, a football jersey, razor blades, mobile phones and other belongings worth over £300 from a bed and breakfast in Glenurquhart Road, Inverness.

Depute fiscal Karen Aitken said the property was occupied by the owners and their two grown up sons.

At about 2.45am on December 8 one of the sons awoke and observed a man in his bedroom, but thinking it was his brother he went back to sleep.

At 9am his mother found the car had gone.

It was traced to Eilean Donan Castle car park and CCTV footage identified Joyce as the driver.

The stolen football shirt was recovered after a search of his home.

He admitted the thefts and driving while disqualified and without insurance.

The court heard Joyce had 39 previous convictions, resulting in 25 custodial sentences.

Joyce requested bail ahead of sentencing for this latest case but Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald told him that, given his record, he would be remanded for reports.

"This was a particularly mean and nasty offence carried out on a family just before Christmas," she said.

Sentence was deferred until March 26.

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