A housebreaker, who entered a woman’s Kirkcaldy home by smashing the living room window and climbing inside, has avoided a jail term.
A sheriff said 43-year-old Thomas McArthur “richly deserved” a prison sentence but was unhappy about the length of time the Crown had taken to bring the case to court.
The offence occurred in January last year and drug addict McArthur was charged 18 months ago.
McArthur, formerly of Haig Avenue, Kirkcaldy and now living in Orkney Place, appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court in a wheelchair having had an operation to amputate a leg shortly after the break-in.
McArthur admitted that on January 29 last year he broke into a house in Katrine Crescent, Kirkcaldy, and stole a TV set and quantity of alcohol.
Depute fiscal Claire Bremner said the victim had left her home at 4.30pm, locking the door behind her.
At 6.45pm the woman returned home to find her living room window had been smashed. There was blood on the window and also on a light switch in a bedroom.
The woman discovered her TV was missing along with bottles of alcohol.
DNA tests showed the blood in the house was McArthur’s.
Defence solicitor Christine Hagan said her client had his left leg amputated in April last year and was currently on a drug treatment and testing order.
Sheriff Alastair Brown said: “He violated someone’s home which leaves the victim with a sense of insecurity as well as violation.
“The offence richly deserves a prison sentence. However, it’s now 18 months since he was charged.”
He told McArthur: “If you had been appearing before me in some sort of sensible time scale, you’d be going to prison for 18 months.”
Instead, the sheriff imposed a nine-month restriction of liberty order.
He warned McArthur if the order was breached: “Amputation or no amputation, you’ll be going to Perth prison.”