A GAMBLING addict took his wife’s £6,500 Land Rover Discovery and sold it for £300.
Inverness Sheriff Court heard Jamie Williams, who is separated from his wife, went into the matrimonial home in Dores, on June 6, and stole several television sets and i-Pods then drove off with the car while his wife was away on a business trip.
Depute fiscal Heather Swan told Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen Williams (40) later put a sign on the vehicle advertising it for sale for £300 stating he needed the money to get home.
Appearing at Inverness Sheriff Court he admitted the theft of the television sets, i-Pods and other objects from Kildrummond, Dores.
He also admitted on June 8, at Pine Cottage, Artafellie, and elsewhere in Inverness-shire, pretending to Paul Campbell that he was authorised, and intended, to sell the car for £300, and induced Mr Campbell to pay this sum which he obtained by fraud.
Ms Swan said the car was owned by Williams’s wife who paid £6,500 for it in 2011.
On June 6, Mrs Williams was away on a business trip and he was to pick up their children from school, she said. But Mrs Williams became suspicious after receiving a phone call from her daughter to say he had failed to do so.
A plasma TV and three flat-screen TVs were removed from the house, an i-Pod CD player and two i-Pods owned by the children, and Mrs Williams was concerned he would have sold the items for gambling cash.
She was also concerned for his welfare because he suffered from depression and the matter was reported to the police, and that he was missing.
The fiscal said Williams had advertised the car for sale in North Kessock, and received an inquiry from Mr Campbell.
Ms Swan said Williams was provided hospitality overnight by the Campbells who took him to Inverness bus station the following day, and Mr Campbell handed over £300.
"Williams handed over his passport to ensure that he would hand over the papers for the car," she said.
The Campbells became suspicious and tried to check the status of the vehicle but Williams didn’t answer their text messages, and Mr Campbell was eventually contacted by the police who became aware he had been making checks on the vehicle’s status.
Williams was eventually traced and brought back to Inverness.
Solicitor Iain Innes said Williams said Williams had a gambling addiction and ongoing problems with depression.
He said Mrs Williams allowed her husband to wash and eat at their home and he was kept on the insurance for the car.
"I understand the vehicle has been returned so the only people out of pocket are those who purchased the vehicle for £300.
"Like all gambling addicts he’s a very bad gambler. It’s the thrill of taking part and the various other stresses of his life disappear," he told the court.
Remanding Williams in custody, Sheriff MacFadyen deferred sentence until July 15, saying he was making no promises about the eventual outcome.