AN ELECTRICIAN stole vital painkillers from an ailing deaf homeowner after asking the man if he had a private CCTV system.

Shaun Law, 26, helped himself to scores of tablets after rifling through his victim's cupboards when he was supposed to be carrying out work for him.

But he was caught after the suspicious man set up a camera in the kitchen following the thief's 'unusual' household security question.

Greenock Sheriff Court heard how the 49-year-old man — who requires to take strong medication including cocodamol and tramadol — had hired local tradesmen to fit a new kitchen.

Procurator fiscal Ziad Ul Hassan said: "The complainer is totally deaf and wears an implant in order to hear.

"He also has various medical conditions and is on painkillers.

"The accused attended at the locus on October 30 last year and asked the householder if he had CCTV.

"He thought this an unusual question."

The court heard how the man later went to the kitchen to take some medication and discovered that a quantity of it was missing.

Fiscal depute Mr Ul Hassan said: "He set up a mobile CCTV unit and observed the accused going through the kitchen cupboards and putting something in his rear left pocket.

"The accused denied taking anything and was told to leave the house.

"Police were contacted and officers were shown the footage.

"The accused was interviewed and made admissions of having taken 40 to 50 tablets."

Law, a dad-of-two from Kincaid Court in Greenock, pleaded guilty to stealing a quantity of prescribed medication from a house in Gourock.

He committed the offence between October 30 and November 8 last year.

Defence lawyer Aidan Gallagher said: "This was out of character for him and he has no previous convictions.

"He immediately expressed regret to the police and he is ashamed of his actions."

Sheriff Andrew McIntyre said: "I am guided by the fact that you have voluntarily sought support for an issue.

"I will impose a compensation order to address the upset caused to the homeowner."

Law has been ordered to pay his victim £600.