A woman avoided jail for shouting at staff in an Ayr sheltered housing unit and stealing a leather jacket in a pub – after a court heard she’s kept her nose clean for more than a year.

Carol Margaret Wheatley, 54, admitted charges of theft and threatening or abusive behaviour when she appeared before Ayr Sherriff Court for sentencing last week.

The court heard took the leather jacket, and a handbag which was valued at around £600, at Bar One in Saltcoats on June 19, 2019.

Wheatley, of Harbour Road, Troon, also caused fear and alarm through threatening behaviour to staff at Elba Gardens, Ayr.

The procurator fiscal depute told the June 16 hearing: “At 1pm on May 19, 2020 the accused was in the reception of the locus.

“The accused behaved in a threatening abusive manner to staff and she began shouting and swearing. Staff warned her because of her conduct. The accused continued.

“At.130pm police arrived at the locus and spoke to staff. She was cautioned and charged.”

Defence solicitor Graeme Cunningham urged Sheriff Shirley Foran to step back from custody.

He said: “She is a 54 year old lady, single now and living in Troon, and has been there since liberation from her last sentence.

“She was liberated [from custody] on March 10. The first incident in this case happened before that sentence was even imposed.

“I started to calculate this morning as I was reading the [social work] report – for the first time [2021-22] there has been a year of no offending.

“Every year this century she has offended. There are no outstanding matters. I’m asking your ladyship to give her a chance to show she has changed.”

Sheriff Foran said she was persuaded by Mr Cunningham’s argument and imposed a community payback order with 12 months of social work supervision.

Wheatley was also told to pay £500 compensation.