A burglar was caught red-handed trying to steal copper piping from a building site.
Alan Day, 31, and an accomplice targeted a refurbishment project at a home for the elderly in Whiteleas, South Shields, on January 25.
Paul Anderson, prosecuting, told South Tyneside Magistrates Court Police that Day, of Sunderland Road, South Shields, was spotted at the site on CCTV in the early hours of the morning.
He said: “When police arrived they saw two males on scaffolding attached to the roof of the home. Both ignored requests to come down.
“When police entered the compound they were able to arrest Day, but the other man made good his escape.”
The court heard Day told police he had been asked to go to the site by a man he knew only as ‘Tom’.
Mr Anderson added: “Day conceded he knew they were going there to steal what he assumed would be copper piping.
“He had the keys to his works Transit van in his pocket but said he wasn’t going to use it to transport the stolen copper because Tom said he would provide a car.”
Day admitted burglary on January 25.
Kevin Smallcombe, defending, said: “This was a misguided and unsophisticated offence which was fortunately detected before much harm was done. Mr Day is effectively a man of previous good character, his only previous brush with the law was a caution for an affray in 2010.”
The bench sentenced Day to a conditional discharge of two years, and ordered him to pay £105 costs.