A man who intimidated an elderly lady into handing him £300 has been jailed for six months.

James Hume, of Glenpark Road, Lochwinnoch, appeared from custody at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last week and pled guilty to one charge.

The court heard that Hume attended an 82-year-old woman’s home in Beith and made arrangements to carry out some work for her. Having completed the work, he then turned up again a few days later, on March 31, at 7.30am and said he needed £300.

The pensioner said it was not a good time as she had an optician appointment, but Hume offered to take her to a cash machine. She refused, but then one of Hume’s relatives arrived in a van and she was taken to the day to Day Today store on Beith’s Eglinton Street.

Hume told the elderly woman to withdraw money from the cashier within the store’s Post Office. According to witnesses, the OAP appeared “uncomfortable and agitated” in Hume’s company and he was intimidating her. She asked to withdraw £300, then told staff she was feeling unwell. Staff assisted her, while Hume took the money and left.

Police were contacted and Hume was eventually traced on an unrelated matter. He was cautioned and charged.

Defence solicitor Mrs Gallon said: “He’s 25, single and he’s self-employed doing property maintenance.

“He has some learning difficulties including dyslexia and is quite illiterate.

“He had been living with his aunt and uncle a few doors down from the complainer. He was carrying out work for his aunt, he got chatting to the complainer and she said she had work that needed doing. They agreed work should be carried out on her behalf and he had to buy materials.

“The work was completed and he advised that he had no money left. He said that the complainer told him she didn’t have any cash but was going into town for an appointment.

“Mr Hume is appalled that the lady felt intimidated. She’s a lady that’s known to his family. He’s very sorry that she was upset and felt intimidated by him.

“I understand he has an outstanding matter at Perth Sheriff Court. He has been remanded in custody with this matter since April 3.”

Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane jailed Hume for six months, reduced from eight.

She told Hume: “You’ve pled guilty at the intermediate diet so I’ve given you the relevant discount.

“You’ve got a horrible record, Mr Hume, for one so young.”