Robber brandished garden shears at 83-year-old victim

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The court heard Tait's DNA was discovered on a set of garden shears and a stolen bank card

A thief who brandished a set of garden shears at a pensioner after breaking into his home has been jailed for almost three years.

Paul Tait, 43, woke up Colin McKinnon, 83, and claimed he was desperate for money.

Tait then ransacked his home and took £500 from a jacket as well as bottles of whisky and a bank card.

He admitted breaking into the house in Kings Park, Glasgow, on 20 February and assaulting Mr McKinnon.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard Tait, who also admitted a breach of bail, disconnected his victim's phone to stop him from phoning the police.

His DNA was later discovered on the shears and the stolen bank card.

'Serious offence'

Sheriff Martin Jones QC jailed him for 32 months.

He said: "You will understand that a lengthy custodial sentence is necessary and appropriate in your case having regard to the serious nature of this offence and the fact it involved an 83-year-old vulnerable complainer."

The court heard Mr McKinnon is hard of hearing and uses a hearing aid.

On the morning of the incident he was asleep in bed with the device turned off.

About 05:00 he was woken by Tait who was standing in the doorway of his bedroom with a set of garden shears.

He claimed he was "desperate" for cash then went downstairs and was followed by his victim.

'Deeply ashamed'

Procurator fiscal depute Ruth Ross-Davie said: "Tait then began to apologise for the mess that he had made in Mr McKinnon's living room as he had been rifling through the property to find items."

Tait took several bottles of malt whisky, then fled.

Mr McKinnon, a former security worker and social worker, was described as having "great calmness and courage".

He told the prosecutor he continued to speak to Tait to keep him calm to "stay in control of the situation".

The shears were left behind and DNA evidence from them matched that of Tait, as well as the stolen bank card that was used but retained by the machine.

This led officers to Tait who was at a friend's house on 10 March.

Defence lawyer John McLaughlin said Tait is "mortified and deeply ashamed" by his conduct.