Tayside and Central Scotland

Thieves trapped in Perth house after break-in

Perth Sheriff Court Image copyright David Hawgood
Image caption The court heard that Banks and Pringle were both drug addicts

Two thieves were caught red-handed after they became trapped inside a house they had broken into.

Del Banks, 27, and Liam Pringle, 28, were unable to find a way to open the doors after climbing in a window of the home in the Craigie area of Perth.

While they were stuck inside, a police cordon was set up outside.

Banks was once taken by a social worker to see a Black Eyed Peas concert as a teenager in a bid to curb his offending.

But since then has been sent to prison on 24 separate occasions. He has committed more than 50 crimes and left three victims scarred for life in separate attacks.

No key

The 300-mile concert trip, funded by taxpayers, was hailed by the local authority at the time as a success.

Both men admitted breaking into the semi-detached property in Cavendish Avenue, Perth, on 29 January with intent to steal.

Perth Sheriff Court heard that at the time Pringle had been freed from court on bail just hours earlier.

The pair, both drug addicts, left syringes in the householder's bed and threw items around the house.

Fiscal depute Sue Ruta told the court that two neighbours saw the men climb onto a flat roof at the back of the property. Pringle then reached down and pulled Banks up and they climbed in through a bathroom window.

Police arrived straight away and saw Pringle inside the property. He ran to the front of the house but could not get out to escape.

'Awful attempt'

"A number of officers arrived and a cordon was placed around the property," Ms Ruta said. "One of the officers smashed a window panel on the front door but there was no key or unlocking mechanism.

"Pringle came to the door and intimated he would leave the locus, but he couldn't as he was unable to unlock the door from the inside. Banks also came to the door."

The pair eventually managed to get out of a window and were arrested.

Solicitor Billy Somerville, for Banks, said: "It was a fairly awful attempt at breaking in. They were caught red-handed and nothing was taken. It was committed with a view to getting money to buy drugs."

Solicitor John McLaughlin, for Pringle, said: "Mr Pringle would have gone out of the front door had there been any way of opening it. Some people think taking diazepam makes them invisible."

Sheriff William Wood said: "It is perhaps unfortunate for the householder that there wasn't a key left to hand so they could get out and avoid any damage."

Sentence was deferred for reports and both men were remanded in custody.

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