Lead thief Colin Sly caught after suffering vertigo

A bungling thief who was caught trying to steal lead from a roof after an attack of vertigo has been told that he may be electronically tagged.

Colin Sly, 20, was arrested after fire crews helped him down from the roof in Galloway Terrace, Paisley, on 26 June.

At the town's sheriff court he admitted wilfully and recklessly damaging the property by removing lead flashing.

Sheriff Derek Livingston deferred sentence but said he may impose a restriction of liberty order.

'Comedy of errors'

Defence agent Charlie McCusker told Paisley Sheriff Court that Sly had been heavily intoxicated when he climbed on to the roof at 04:00.

He said the incident had turned into "a comedy of errors" which resulted in humiliating coverage from the media.

Depute fiscal Hazel Emmerson said that officers attended the scene following reports that a person had been seen acting suspiciously.

They found Sly on the flat roof above the second floor of the property, with sections of lead flashing strewn around the garden below and other sections protruding from the roof.

Sly seemed to be unsteady on his feet, so police decided to call in the fire service for his own safety.

Previous convictions

Crews later arrived and "assisted in his removal from the roof", after which Sly was found to be covered in dirt.

Mr McCusker stressed that Sly had not stolen the lead but had admitted a charge of vandalism.

After studying the accused's record, Sheriff Livingston said it was clear that he had "numerous previous convictions for theft".

The sheriff told Sly, from Linwood, that he was considering restricting his movements at night and would be calling for a restriction of liberty order assessment.

When Mr McCusker revealed that Sly had recently moved in to live with his sister in Linwood, Sheriff Livingston said: "It may well be that his sister is going to have the pleasure of his company every night."

Sly will be sentenced later this month.

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