OAP pair ‘shoplifted from stores to top up pensions’

Perth Sheriff Court. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Perth Sheriff Court. Picture: Ian Rutherford

An elderly duo with a combined age of 143 used their free bus passes to go on weekly shoplifting sprees.

William Wilson, 72, and Davina Cowan, 71, of Cupar, said they went on weekend trips to go shoplifting to supplement their pensions.

The unlikely crooks told a court they had turned to crime because they were struggling to live on their basic state pension payments.

Today at Perth Sheriff Court, retired lorry driver Wilson was ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work in the community.

Cowan had sentence deferred for six months for her to be of good behaviour and was told to start saving up to pay a fine and compensation to the stores from which she stole.

Sheriff Fiona Tait told them: “Many people find themselves in financial difficulty, but they don’t take the bus to Blairgowrie on three occasions to steal.

“It wasn’t just a one-off. You went on day trips to steal.”

Wilson, who is married, and his friend Cowan made several day trips to Blairgowrie to help themselves to groceries and cleaning products, including Nurofen and Dettol.

Solicitor Sue Williams, for Wilson, told the court: “He has advised me he has become involved in this course of conduct because he cannot manage on his pension.

“He is a 72-year-old man and he hasn’t been in trouble before.

“This was a way to eke out his pension. His only excuse seems to be his lack of income.He has had quite a wake-up call.”

Solicitor Pauline Cullerton, for Cowan, said: “The items she was stealing she was classing as luxury goods she couldn’t afford to pay for.

“She is highly embarrassed to appear before the court at her age.”

In less than a month the pair made three Saturday day trips to Blairgowrie to rob stores and were eventually captured after being spotted on CCTV.

Wilson and Cowan admitted stealing from Perthshire stores on 5 March, 26 March and 2 April.