A THIEF painter and decorator who stole £800 from a pensioner customer’s home has been jailed — more than four years after committing the offence.

Richard McKillop — who also completed just 15 hours of a 200-hour unpaid work punishment — had been ordered to compensate his victim when he was convicted.

It was later found that the ruling had been improperly imposed and the repayment portion of McKillop’s sentence was quashed — effectively letting him off with it.

However a sheriff said, four years later, he had failed to ‘do the decent thing’ and repay the cash.

However, he is now beginning a prison term over the theft — which was branded ‘despicable’ by a sheriff — and will spend his 25th birthday this month behind bars.

Sheriff Derek Hamilton, who jailed McKillop, told him: “This is one of those despicable crimes.

“You and your father were decorating a house and you stole this money.”

The sheriff added: “You’ve had your chance.”

McKillop, of Tummel Gardens in Port Glasgow, stole the money from the home of a 63-year-old woman from West Barmoss Avenue. He was convicted in October 2015 over the the September 2013 offence.

Sheriff Hamilton said: “Mr McKillop was given the opportunity to deal with the matter by repaying society and the complainer.

“He paid nothing in five months and the amount was ultimately remitted to zero.”

The court heard that McKillop has since been earning £300 per week but had not taken it upon himself to repay the stolen cash.

Sheriff Hamilton said: “You effectively got a bonus when the order to repay was quashed.

“However, it was still open to you to do the decent thing and pay back the money.”

He told McKillop: “In view of the serious nature of the offence and the unpaid work element there is no alternative to custody here.”

The sheriff revoked the previously imposed community payback order and jailed McKillop for 10 months.