A MEMORIAL garden bench which had gone missing from a grassy area in Jedburgh was spotted several days later re-painted and with the plaque missing at a property elsewhere in the town.

When Alexander Wood was confronted by police about it, he said he thought it had been abandoned and there was no plaque on it when he came across it.

The 42-year-old pleaded guilty at Jedburgh Sheriff Court to a charge of stealing the bench by finding it on land at Old Bridge End on March 20 without attempting to discover the true owner.

Fiscal Tessa Bradley explained the bench had been donated by the land owner in memory of his wife and also a man who had landscaped the area for the enjoyment of others.

He had noticed it had gone missing and around a week later  his daughter spotted it in a garden in Jedburgh's Grieve Avenue.

Although it had been painted green she recognised it due to its distinctive shape.

Wood was apologetic to police saying he thought it had been abandoned and had painted it green to blend in with his garden.

Sentence was deferred on Wood - who is currently serving a custodial sentence for another matter - until October 30 to allow him to start saving up £200 for the cost of restoring the bench to its original condition.