A SHOPLIFTER with a recognisable name appeared in court last week. 

Philip Mitchell, of Green Street, Ayr admitted stealing candles from Watt Brothers on Ayr High Street in March.

Mitchell also stole a Jacket from Debenhams in April this year. The 57-year-old appeared from custody before Sheriff Desmond Leslie at Ayr Sheriff Court last week. 

Speaking on his behalf defence solicitor John Gallagher said: “Mr Mitchell has said he was unable to complete his community payback order.

“This is because of a problem with universal credit.”

Addressing the dock, Sheriff Leslie, said: “Universal Credit should now be paid into your account. I think the problem was you had no money and lead you to shop lift. 

“You have a very extensive record. It is quite clear you have great difficulty keeping yourself out of trouble for one reason or another.

“I am prepared to break the cycle because you would be going to jail. It is up to you Mr Mitchell. Do you want to take advantage of this opportunity?

“Only you can break the cycle of your offending. I am giving you a chance, you should take it. You are 57-years-old. You are too old for this sort of thing are you not?”

Mitchell has been placed on a community payback order and will remain under supervision for 18 months.

He will complete 120 hours of unpaid work within six months.