A HOPELESS criminal trashed a cash machine in a 4am raid – then claimed he’d only been trying to retrieve his card.
Lee Wilson (39) tore out the screen of the ATM casing in Kirkcaldy, then broke through the wall and tried to rip it out from the inside.
He was caught after triggering motion sensors, a court heard, and was jailed for 18 months after he admitted attempted theft. He also injured himself and left behind blood with his DNA.
Wilson, described as having “an unenviable record of previous convictions”, claimed the machine had swallowed his bank card and he was trying to get it back.
Wilson admitted forcing open the ATM on Pentland Place on September 14 last year when he appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.
He created a man-sized hole in the wall before crawling into a locked safe room which contained more than £21,000, during the early morning break-in.
Despite being inside for around 20 minutes, Wilson left the scene empty-handed but was rumbled after cutting himself and leaving traces of blood at the scene.
Wilson, of Lomond Gardens, Kirkcaldy, was jailed for 18 months for the attempted theft. Depute fiscal Sarah Lumsden told the court: “At around 4am, a witness who lived near the premises heard loud banging coming from the the locus which continued for several minutes before going completely silent.”
A motion sensor inside the safe room was triggered by Wilson’s movements and the police were contacted.
Miss Lumsden added: “While the theft was unsuccessful, the substantial damage to the ATM and its reinforced surrounding amounted to a sum of £13,680.”
Defence solicitor Nigel Cooke told the court his client had not intended to steal the cash but had been trying to retrieve his bank card which he claims was retained by the machine.
Mr Cooke said: “He has a history of drug abuse which is now under control.
“But he tells me that the previous evening, he had consumed some valium.
“When the card was retained, he admits to ‘going mental’ and he kicked the machine which broke the panel which opened up into the safe, allowing him to force his way into the machine.
“The attempt to break into the machine was wholly unsuccessful and all he managed to do was injure himself in the course of the break-in.”
Sheriff James Williamson ordered the bungling crook to spend 18 months behind bars.