Bristol knickers thief Colin Creighton given community order

A burglar who was caught with his coat pockets full of women's knickers will not face a jail term.

Colin Creighton, 51, of Newton Street, Bristol, was arrested after a neighbour found him in a bedroom at her house.

Officers found underwear in his pockets and in a bag in the back garden.

Creighton previously pleaded guilty to burglary. He was given a three-year community order and told to attend a sex offenders programme.

Bristol Crown Court heard Creighton could not explain his actions to police but denied that the theft of underwear was for any form of sexual gratification.

The woman has been left so traumatised by the burglary that she has since only spent one night at her home in St Andrews.

'Sock on one hand'

Kenneth Bell, prosecuting, said the woman had locked the doors of her home, but had left a kitchen window ajar.

Mr Bell said when police arrived at the property Creighton tried to prevent them gaining entry.

"He had a sock on his one hand and torch in his possession. He was arrested with ladies' underwear in his pocket," the prosecutor said.

"Police also found in the back garden a bag containing more ladies' underwear.

"During the course of the police interview the defendant said he had been drinking a lot. He denied going there with a purpose to steal.

"But he could not give any explanation why he had a sock on his hand or he was carrying a torch.

"What concerned the officer was the nature of the items taken. There was a laptop in the house and other electrical items but it was just the ladies' underwear that was taken."

The court heard the victim was worried she had been watched in the nights before the burglary.

She said in a victim impact statement: "I cannot believe this has happened. I am very scared now."

Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC said: "This was a very serious offence - breaking into somebody's house.

"It is an unusual case. It is an inexplicable offence. The worrying thing about what you did and why ever you did it... it will have a really profound, understandable effect upon her."

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