A FORMER soldier carried out a “dirty protest” after being arrested for burglary.
James Bridgewood, smeared his police cell with excrement while being held in custody for trying to burgle a house.
A court was told ex-Yorkshire Regiment squaddie Bridgewood left an elderly woman terrified after he confronted her in her Newsome home.
He then soiled his cell in protest after being held without his medication.
Huddersfield magistrates were told that Bridgewood suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since witnessing horrendous acts of violence during his time serving his country.
The bench heard that Bridgewood, 28, broke into the house on Lockwood Scar just before 7pm on January 8.
The property is owned by widow Doreen Philips, 81, who suffered from conditions which gave her physical difficulties.
Vanessa Schofield, prosecuting, said: “She was at home when she heard a loud banging which she thought was from another house.
“She heard it again and was very scared. The living room door opened and a man came into the room.
“He looked at the lady, said ‘ooops’ and then left.”
The incident was witnessed by a neighbour who called police.
Bridgewood, of Meltham Road in Netherton, admitted the attempted burglary in which he forced entry by smashing a window to the upstairs bedroom with a breeze block. He took nothing, but glass and his dirty footprints were left all over the floor.
Ms Schofield said that Mrs Philips had only just started sleeping again since her husband died.
“This event has taken her backwards and she’s very scared now.”
Magistrates were told the damage caused when Bridgewood smeared the police cell wall cost an estimated £250 and it required specialist cleaning.
The bench was told that Bridgewood was still subject to a suspended nine-month prison sentence for burglary. He had admitted breaking into a ground floor flat in Swan Lane, Lockwood, while the occupant was still asleep.
At the time, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC told Bridgewood he was giving him a chance to sort his life out.
Jonathan Slawinski, defending, said that Bridgewood suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and a number of underlying issues.
He said that his client had drunk a considerable amount of alcohol when he broke into Mrs Philips’ property and had believed it was unoccupied because it was in darkness.
Mr Slawinski added that Bridgewood was unhappy at being held in police cells.
He said: “He is on medication, anti-depressants, and was distraught and agitated. The police station on that night was extremely busy. He wanted his medication and was banging, wanting attention.
“He was not getting it so he does a dirty protest. It was unpleasant and he’s very embarrassed about his conduct.”
Magistrates remanded Bridgewood in custody.
He will next appear before Bradford Crown Court on February 9 via a prison video link.