A THIEF who drove off in a couple’s car after rifling through their home while their newborn baby was asleep has been caged.

Johnstone man David McGibbon, 32, stole the Nissan Note in Broomlands Street, Paisley, in June and then led police on a high-speed chase.

He also stole bank cards, keys and a watch from one of his neighbours in Chestnut Place, Johnstone, on June 10 this year and went on to use the cards in the Nisa shop in nearby Hazel Avenue, obtaining nearly £80 by fraud in the process.

McGibbon pinched more bank cards and the Nissan car key from the Broomlands Street property and then stole the car, driving it while disqualified.

He went on to approach his girlfriend, whom he is banned from seeing, failed to stop for police and drove dangerously by leading them on a chase at high speeds along the M8 motorway and into Glasgow, running red lights as he sped along.

McGibbon denied his guilt but was convicted of eight charges after a trial at Paisley Sheriff Court last month.

Sentence was deferred for background reports to be prepared and he returned to the dock earlier this month to learn his fate.

Defence solicitor Graeme Brown asked for leniency for McGibbon, saying drugs were the root cause of his offending. 

He explained: “He has a problem with drugs. I have known him for a number of years, he has had a problem with drugs for a number of years.”

Mr Brown told Sheriff Lindsey Kooner that she had “a stark choice” – jailing McGibbon or allowing him to be assessed for a possible Drug Treatment and Testing Order, which would see him going unpunished by working with professionals to get clean, in a bid to stop his offending.

But the judge ruled there was only one way she could deal with him – and caged him for 12 months, the maximum sentence she could impose.

As she did so, Sheriff Kooner told McGibbon: “You are quite clearly in the grip of an addiction problem that’s caused significant stress and harm, not only to your own family, but also, no doubt, to the community.

“You caused one family very significant inconvenience. You deprived them of the use of the vehicle when they had a young family and you entered their home while the mother was sleeping with their baby.

“Only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”

She also banned McGibbon from driving for five years.

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