Drug addict was caught burgling
A "remorseless" burglar caught trying to break into a house has been jailed for three years.
Lee Mathieson (27), who has more than 100 previous offences on his criminal record – including 13 related to burglaries – was addicted to drugs.
He pleaded guilty to attempted burglary in Bede Street, off Braunstone Gate, Leicester, and burgling the garden shed.
James Thomas, prosecuting, told the city's crown court that a concerned neighbour called the police after the defendant knocked on his front and back doors, at 5.10pm on October 28, claiming to be "looking for a ball".
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The police arrived 10 minutes later and, while looking for the defendant, heard a loud bang and found him in an alley outside a nearby house.
Mr Thomas said: "The occupant of that house returned home and noticed that his shed around the back had been broken into.
"A golf club from inside the shed was on the ground, damaged with a bent shaft.
"The golf club had been used to try to break into the house."
The door was damaged and the defendant's shoe print was also on it.
Mathieson, of Petworth Drive, near Glenfield Road, Leicester, was spending about £40 a day on heroin and crack-cocaine, the court was told.
Justine Robinson, mitigating, said Mathieson's mother was in court to support him, along with his partner, who is due to give birth in May.
Miss Robinson said: "Because of his profound learning difficulties, it's led him into the criminal justice system. There's also been difficulties with the misuse of drugs, which was why he committed these offences."
She told the court that Mathieson had come off drugs, but relapsed before his arrest.
He tested positive for opiates at the police station.
"Fortunately, the damage to the property was small and nothing was stolen," Miss Robinson.
She told the court that the onset of fatherhood may give him a more mature outlook.
Sentencing, Judge Simon Hammond said: "It's a very old burglars' trick to knock on doors and say you're looking for a ball.
"He's a remorseless burglar who's failed to take chances given to him by the courts."
Mathieson's previous convictions also included handling, thefts and numerous motoring offences.