A drunk man smashed his way into his parents’ home – only to realise that they had moved out and sold it.
Bungling Jamie Mullen, 20, said he didn’t realise the family property he grew up in had been sold as he hadn’t been in contact with his mum and dad following their separation.
The property in Cleckheaton was in fact being renovated by its new owner and Mullen caused £1,000 damage when he smashed his way in – and out.
He admitted burglary and escaped punishment after Kirklees magistrates heard that police had taken the unusual step of offering Mullen a caution on the condition that he paid just £50 compensation to the owner.
The house in Whitehall Road was broken into on March 5 while it was empty and being renovated following its recent sale, the Huddersfield court heard.
Mullen entered by smashing his way through a bedroom window and took nothing before leaving by breaking a different window.
Alex Bozman, prosecuting, said: “A cigarette butt and blood swabs were recovered from the points of entry.
“These were forensically examined and linked Mr Mullen’s father to the matter.
“However, further enquiries in respect of the DNA profile revealed similarities with the defendant the result of which he provided a voluntary sample and that did match.”
Mullen admitted that he’d entered his former family home while drunk and couldn’t recall much about what happened except that he’d had a smoke and a drink.
Mr Bozman added that while the damage caused cost £1,000, police had initially taken the “rather generous” step of offering a caution.
This was on the condition that he made a goodwill payment of £50 to the new occupant but, when he failed to pay this in the two months given, he was taken to court.
In mitigation Ian Whiteley admitted that the case of his client, who appeared in custody after missing his initial hearing, was unusual.
He added: “The family house was owned for many years and at the time when he went back he didn’t know that the house had been sold.
“He’d had no contact with his parents following the break-up of their marriage.
“He had been drinking and for some reason thought he was going to go to the house, smash a window, go in and smash his way back out.
“It’s a shame because he’s going to have a record now for a serious offence. If he’d paid £50 he wouldn’t have been here.”
Magistrates handed Mullen a conditional discharge, meaning that he will escape punishment if he stays out of trouble for 12 months.
They told him to pay the new owner £200 compensation for the damage caused.