A Dunfermline thief, who stole a dead man’s charity bottle containing over £4500 and spent it on booze, has finally been jailed.

Wayne Hardy was hired to renovate a flat above a shop but instead helped himself to the money saved by a man who had just passed away.

Hardy, 41, of Macbeth Road, managed to avoid prison at his original sentencing but was jailed when he returned to Dunfermline Sheriff Court after failing to do his unpaid work.

Hardy admitted that between December 10 and 16, 2021 at Inchkeith Drive he stole a plastic bottle containing £4570.

The court previously heard the incident involved a flat above a shop. The shop owner had wanted renovations done to the flat where his dad had lived until his death. He knew Hardy as a customer in the shop and asked him to do the work.

The deceased man had put £70 a week into a charity bottle and it was kept in the flat. The bottle disappeared during the time Hardy was working in the flat and investigations later revealed that £4570 had been put in his bank account. By the time the police looked at the account all the money had gone.

Defence solicitor David McLaughlin said that his client claimed that all the money was spent on alcohol.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis was sceptical saying: “You’d be going some to spend that sum on alcohol.”

He also commented that Hardy was fortunate to avoid jail the first time.

Earlier this year, Sheriff Susan Duff imposed a community payback order with 200 hours of unpaid work and a six-month restriction of liberty order. Hardy was also ordered to pay £2000 compensation.

Hardy breached the ‘tag’, had only done six hours of unpaid work and was complaining he could not afford to pay the compensation.

Sheriff Foulis said it was clear that the court had been “misled” by Hardy when he said he could do unpaid work before the original sentencing. When sentenced to do it he then claimed he was not fit.

Sheriff Foulis said: “If community sentences are going to mean anything to the wider public then if a sentence is imposed it is performed.”

He revoked the community payback order and restriction of liberty order and instead jailed Hardy for six months.