Handbag thief rugby-tackled by drinkers

Livingston Sheriff Court
Livingston Sheriff Court
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A GROUP of pub-goers sprang into action when they saw a man snatch a woman’s handbag and run out of the door.

Three customers ran out of the James Young pub in Bathgate and rugby-tackled Patrick Columb to the ground.

The have-a-go trio then held him until police arrived, despite the fact he was holding an open penknife, a court heard.

Columb, 43, who is a full-time carer for his 77-year-old mum, pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared at Livingston Sheriff Court.

He was sentenced to do 50 hours of unpaid work under a community payback order.

Iain Smith, defending, said his client was intoxicated and had been on his way out of the pub when he carried out the offence.

“He saw the bag on the floor and unexpectedly lifted it and left.

“He’s deeply ashamed at doing that and describes himself as happy that he’s been caught.

“He was chased and put to the ground as he says quite rightly so.”