Serial thief jailed after break-ins

John Paul Johnston was sentenced at Hamilton Sheriff Court.
John Paul Johnston was sentenced at Hamilton Sheriff Court.
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A serial thief who targeted business premises in Motherwell and a children’s nursery is behind bars after a crime spree spanning five months.

John Paul Johnston (33) was jailed for two years and eight months at Hamilton Sheriff Court where he admitted a string of break-ins.

Sheriff John Miller heard that Johnston, described as a prisoner, was already on bail for another matter when he broke into Windmill Nursery in Windmillhill Street last October. He stole electrical goods and hand tools from the nursery.

A week later Johnston stole motorcycle equipment from Route 66 Rider Training in Crosshill Street, Motherwell. He returned to the same premises in March when he stole a cash tin.

During November he stole a camera and a TV from an office in Carluke, alcohol from South Dalziel Studios in Orbiston Street, Motherwell, and various items from a garage in Wishaw.

Johnston was back in Mothewell in February, breaking into JG Martin Plant Hire in Orbiston Street, but failing to steal anything.

Johnston, who was represented by solicitor Diarmid Bruce, admitted previous convictions and Sheriff John Miller said the sentence would have been considerably longer but for his guilty plea.

The 32-month stretch was backdated to May 16 to take account of time already spent in custody.