A PRESTONPANS thief broke into a Musselburgh home by making a three-foot hole in the attic space he could fit through.

Andrew Moffat made the hole to break into the property at the town’s Goosegreen Crescent.

Moffat, 39, proceeded to steal packets of tobacco, alcohol, birthday cards, a toiletries set and a set of ladders from the home.

The homeowner had been away for the night and on his return he noticed items had been moved around his home before he spotted some of his belongings were missing.

Police were contacted and it was discovered that a neighbour’s CCTV had managed to catch the culprit leaving the area.

Moffat, of Middleshot Square, was identified by the footage and following a search of his home a bottle of vodka taken in the break-in was found within his flat.

Moffat pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to breaking into a flat at Goosegreen Crescent and stealing a quantity of tobacco, two bottles of alcohol, greeting cards, a quantity of clothing, a toiletries box set and a set of ladders on February 4 last year.

During last Thursday’s hearing, co-accused Vicki Reid, 37, of Newbigging, Musselburgh, had her not guilty plea accepted by the Crown.

Fiscal depute Kim Schofield told the court that the householder who had their home broken into left their home at 11.20am on February 3 last year and returned the following day at about 7am.

Ms Schofield said: “He found his property secured by the front door but noticed a number of items within had been moved.

“He later discovered a three-foot hole in his attic. He searched his property and found the following items missing.”

The fiscal listed all the items stolen, which included 32 packets of tobacco, birthday cards – with one including a £20 note – two bottles of vodka, two jumpers, toiletries and the ladders.

Defending solicitor Colm Dempsey said his client was homeless and addicted to drugs at the time of the offence.

Mr Dempsey added: “In respect of the offence I point to two factors which are non-aggravating and they are the householder was not present and the low value of the items taken.”

The solicitor conceded that Moffat had “lengthy and serious previous convictions” but that he had recently secured council tenancy accommodation at the Middleshot Square address and was now “no longer using illicit drugs at this stage.”

Sheriff Norman McFadyen told Moffat: “You have a significant record of dishonesty going back over many years and as far as this case is concerned there is no alternative to custody.”

The sheriff jailed Moffat for 32 months and backdated the sentence to February 27.