THE janitor at a popular shopping centre stole money from a carrier bag, which a young girl had lost.

Brian Watters pocketed the cash which had been handed in as lost property at Dunfermline’s Kingsgate Centre.

The 10-year-old girl had been spending her gift cards and money just after Christmas.

After sitting down she left her bag on the seat by mistake. A passer-by saw the lost property and handed it over to Watters, who then stole the £30 cash and left the gift cards lying in a toilet.

Watters, 49, of Burnside Crescent, Rosyth, appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He admitted that on January 6 at the Kingsgate, while employed as a janitor there, he stole a carrier bag and its contents.

Depute fiscal Dev Kapadia said: “The victim here was a 10-year-old girl who had been brought to the centre to do some shopping.

“Unfortunately, she left her bag on a seat. The bag contained a purse, some gift cards and some money.

“It was found by a passer-by who handed it over to the accused. He is then seen on CCTV making his way to the top level of the shopping centre with the carrier bag.

“Later the bag was found discarded in a disabled toilet. The gift cards, which were for £18, were in it but the £30 was missing.”

Defence solicitor Barbara Collie said: “He’s currently unemployed having lost his job as a result of this.”

Sheriff Linda Smith told Watters: “This was a despicable act on your part and you’ve lost your job because of it.”

She ordered Watters to pay the girl £100 compensation.