A THIEF who stole a battery-operated device, a quantity of gel and a series of other items from a property in Kilcreggan has been granted an absolute discharge by a sheriff – who admitted his decision was an “exceptional” move.

Zak Winter's haul also included a pair of sunglasses, a bottle of wine, two watches, a bracelet and two pairs of shoes.

All were stolen from the property in the village's Craigrownie Gardens on July 8 last year.

A decision on Winter's fate had been deferred on his first court appearance on August 25, and again on April 27 this year, when Winter, a self-employed joiner, was not present in court.

Winter's solicitor, Brian McGuire, said his client had been of good behaviour in the period between August and April, and had “missed” his court date last month because of his long hours of work following a period of ill health and surgery.

Winter, 29, who is now living in Roy Young Avenue in Balloch, returned to Dumbarton Sheriff Court for sentencing on May 11, when Mr McGuire said: “This was a situation in relation to the break-up of a relationship. His reaction was inappropriate, but passions were running high.

“The relationship ended that day. He has had no contact with the lady since and does not expect to have any contact with her in future.

“A conviction would render him unemployable due to the nature of his work.”

Sheriff Simon Pender agreed to grant an absolute discharge, meaning that no conviction will appear on Winter's record.