A DRUG addict who broke into a children's nursery in Cardross to fund his habit and to pay money lenders has been jailed.

A court was told that Stuart McCrae, who had a criminal record stretching back "decades", took nothing in the raid on the premises this summer.

McCrae, 55, appeared from custody on indictment at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Tuesday, when he admitted breaking into Nursery Rhymes in Reay Avenue, Cardross, on July 4 with intent to steal.

Fiscal depute Claire Nicholl outlined the circumstances of the case, saying it happened after the owner of the nursery had secured the portable cabin office at 8.50pm.

Some time later a witness in the owner's home heard a loud smash and looked out and saw a male climb into a window of the cabin.

Ms Nicholl said: "The witness contacted police and they attended five minutes later.

"They saw the accused and he told them he was looking for somewhere to stay."

McCrae, who waslisted in court papers as being a prisoner of Low Moss, was taken to Clydebank police office to be processed.

The court was told how the owner of the nursery returned the premises to see that some damage had been done in the break-in while files, along with drawers, were lying open too.

Sheriff William Gallacher asked if the break-in had any impact on the operation of the nursery, but was told that nothing had been taken.

McCrae's defence solicitor told the court how his client had a drug problem which started when he was prescribed Tramadol while in prison for a previous offence.

The drug was then no longer prescribed to him and McCrae had withdrawal symptoms, leading him to street valium, then, eventually, heroin.

His solicitor added: "He had extreme withdrawal symptoms so he started to take heroin and that cemented his downfall.

"It (the offence) was to fund his drug problem and to pay money lenders.

"There's an underlying drug problem and it's only very recently that he has come to terms with it. He's willing to admit that he's got an extreme addiction.

"He understand that a prison sentence is inevitable."

The court was also told how McCrae also had a portion of a previous jail sentence still left unexpired.

Sheriff Gallacher told him: "You have an appalling record and you have been doing this for decades.

"I cannot mark this by way of anything other than a severe penalty."

McCrae was sentenced to two years in prison.