Callous thief pinched OAP's handbag while she was laying flowers at her husband's grave

Hamilton Sheriff Court. -Credit:Hamilton Advertiser
Hamilton Sheriff Court. -Credit:Hamilton Advertiser

A callous thief stole an 85-year-old woman's handbag while she was laying flowers at her husband's grave.

Stuart McGowan sneaked into the pensioner's car after she left it unlocked at Cambusnethan Cemetery in Wishaw.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard the bag contained her purse, cash and bank cards. One card was later used to buy alcohol and cigarettes worth £125 from local shops.

McGowan, 57, of Gateside Road, Craigneuk, admitted stealing the bag on October 6, 2021. A second charge alleging he used the bank card to obtain goods by fraud was dropped.

The elderly victim told police she had gone to the cemetery with flowers for her husband's grave and had left the car for only a short time.

She had to attend court and was due to give evidence, but McGowan changed his plea to guilty shortly before the trial was to start.

The handbag and contents were not recovered.

Defence lawyer Diarmid Bruce told the court: “My client has had all sorts of difficulties including with drugs. He is engaging with an addiction recovery team.”

Sheriff Liam Murphy fined unemployed McGowan £420 and ordered him to pay the victim £125 compensation.

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