AN EARLY morning burglar who was caught red-handed has been sent to prison.

Steven Raymond Tebble, 43, of North Street in Shotton, had broken into the garage of a home on Liverpool Road in Buckley and was caught after being spotted the owner. The man had been standing by the backdoor of his property at around 2am on January 31 when he saw a light flickering in the garage. When he went to investigate, he noticed the door to the garage was open and Tebble, who was standing inside, tried to make a run for it. Despite the best efforts of the home owner, the defendant managed to evade his clutches and made his escape on a push bike, only to be stopped by police soon afterwards.

Justin Espie, prosecuting, told Mold Magistrates Court, how a rucksack had been found in the garage, and it contained several items, including a pair of snipper's, a torch and a mobile phone, that did not belong to the victim. During a police interview, Tebble admitted to breaking into the garage with the intention to steal.

Gary Harvey, defending, told the court his client has been living with drug addiction for many years, but that he didn't get into as much trouble as he used to. Mr Harvey accepted however that Tebble has previous convictions for matters of a similar nature, including breaking into sheds and garages. At the time of the offence, Tebble had been subject of a post sentence supervision order, which had been made on August 2018.

Probation officer Lisa Harris said that although Tebble had shown some improvement in his behaviour in recent times, he wasn't always the most consistent in his compliance, but was considered suitable for to attend a drug rehabilitation programme.

Magistrates told Tebble that due to his past history of committing similar offences, and the fact the owner of the property had actually confronted him on his occasion, imposing a custodial sentence was the only realistic option. They sentenced him to serve 12 weeks in prison and he must also pay a surcharge of £122.