A BUNGLING burglar who spilt paint in the shed he was stealing from and alerted neighbours by crashing around has appeared in court.

Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard today (Thursday March 20) that amphetamine addict Michael Jacques, 31, went equipped with gloves and tools to steal in the early hours of March 8.

He entered a shed on Nunnery Lane, Darlington, and loaded his bicycle trailer with stolen items, including wrapping paper, wire, a wooden clock and a bag of Fairy washing tablets.

Prosecutor Rachael Dodsworth told the court that a neighbour alerted the police after hearing something crashing to the ground around the shed.

When the neighbour looked out he saw Jacques jumping over a wall.

Ms Dodsworth said that although the items stolen were of low value, there was damage caused by the paint, and the occupants of the house were vulnerable people who needed the help of a support worker.

She added that Jacques had 99 offences on his record and had been sentenced to a year in prison in December 2012 for burglary.

Mitigating, Graham Hunsley said credit should be given for his early guilty plea.

He said that Jacques, who has three children, was on a methadone treatment programme, but also used amphetamines which caused him to slip back into offending.

Mo Sibert, of the probation service, said she had a long history of working with Jacques to address his drugs problems and said she had seen him both “at the bottom of the heap and at periods of excellence”.

She recommended a curfew order and magistrates agreed by imposing a 16-week 8pm to 7am home curfew on Jacques, of Nickstream Lane, Darlington.

They also ordered a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for one year, and told Jacques to pay £100 compensation and £50 court costs.