CURIOSITY cost a drunken man nearly £300 after he stopped to relieve himself in the back lane in South Tyneside.
Antony Paul Dickinson was on his way home after a night drinking with friends on December 20, last year, when he needed the toilet.
He made his way down a back lane behind shops in Prince Edward Road, South Shields, where he discovered the back door of the St Clare’s Hospice shop had a hole in it.
South Tyneside Magistrates Court were told yesterday, the 35-year-old in his “befuddled state” had clambered through the hole to have a look.
Dickinson, of Chichester Road, South Shields, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary with intent to steal when he appeared before magistrates.
The court was told the hospice had been burgled that night with cash taken from the till and safe and costume jewellery and DVDs also stolen.
Dickinson had been arrested by police after a pair of gloves belonging to him were found by officers in the back lane near the shop.
Sarah Guest, prosecuting, said: “He told police he had been walking down the back lane as he wanted to relieve himself.
“When he got there, he saw a large hole in the door, he crawled into the hole and the alarm sounded.
“He denied having taken anything and having caused the original damage, but he did accept he entered the building as a trespasser.”
The court was told Dickinson, who has previous convictions, had kept himself out of trouble for four years.
Ian Cruickshank, defending, said: “He had been drinking heavily with friends and have had gone down the back lane to relieve himself and took off his gloves to do so.
“When he come across the hole in the back door to St Clare’s Hospice, in his befuddled state he stupidly went in to have a look.
“There was no evidence against him. The forensic evidence was the gloves, which were found 30ft to 40ft away.
“There was nothing to link him to the crime whatsoever.
“He was told by police what the definition of burglary with intent was, and he admitted he would have taken something if he had found something.
“He has kept out of trouble for four years.”
Dickinson was fined £165 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £20 victim surcharge.