Tayside and Central Scotland

McDiarmid Park raider Steven Flynn jailed for 16 months

Steven Flynn Image copyright Perthshire Picture Agency
Image caption Steven Flynn forced open a window at the stadium with a crowbar

A thief who broke into St Johnstone FC's stadium and stole charity money and keys has been jailed for 16 months.

Steven Flynn forced open a window at McDiarmid Park with a crowbar in an attempt to find money to pay off drug debts.

A court heard that police officers arrived at the stadium at 02:40 after an alarm went off, but did not realise there had been a break-in.

A cleaner raised the alarm after seeing cupboards had been rummaged through.

Perth Sheriff Court was told that Flynn, who has convictions for 120 previous offences, opened a door onto the pitch and walked around the Premier League club's ground until the police went away.

It was only when the cleaner turned up several hours later and noticed that Flynn had rummaged around several cupboards and stolen keys and charity cash that a full investigation began.

Image caption Charity money and keys were stolen in the raid at McDiarmid Park

Flynn, 29, was jailed for 16 months after he admitted breaking into St Johnstone's stadium on 14 November last year and stealing keys and a charity box containing £20.

Fiscal depute Sue Ruta told the court: "At 02:40 there had been an alarm activation within the stadium.

"Police attended and noted an insecure window on the ground floor.

"Officers believed that had been accidentally left open and they left the stadium."

'Muddy footprints'

When the cleaner arrived, she noticed the alarm was ringing and the cupboard behind reception was open.

Police were called and officers saw muddy footprints in the reception area.

Ms Ruta said: "A crowbar covered in mud was recovered beneath the reception desk.

"CCTV covered this area and police viewed it and positively identified the accused."

Solicitor David Holmes, defending, said: "He told the police he committed the offence because he wanted money.

"Money was owed to the people from whom he received drugs."

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