Neighbour foils housebreaker

Resident of street was suspicious
Resident of street was suspicious

A housebreaker said to be after money for drugs was caught after being spotted by an alert resident in the early hours of the morning.

Police arrived and Jonathon Graham was detained close to the scene of the second raid. Stolen cash, a mobile phone and car and house keys were recovered.

Graham (24) was jailed for 16 months at Hamilton Sheriff Court after he admitted breaking into houses in Laird Grove, Tannochside, and Balmoral Gardens in nearby Birkenshaw on September 11 last year.

Alastair Mitchell, prosecuting, said all the stolen property was recovered. He told the court: “A man in Laird Grove became aware of someone at the back door of his neighbour’s property in the early hours of the morning.

“Suspecting a housebreaking, he phoned the police and went out to investigate for himself. He disturbed the accused who ran off but was caught a short time later by police who had arrived after the call.

“He was found in possession of £130, keys and a mobile phone.”

Mr Mitchell said the property belonged to the two housebreaking victims. The second victim contacted the police the next morning after discovering the break-in at the house in Balmoral Gardens.

Quizzed by police, Graham made a “full and frank” confession, saying he was addicted to valium and needed money.

A defence agent said Graham, formerly of Glasgow and now living in Ayrshire, has drink and drug problems.

The solicitor stated: “He did this simply to get money for drugs. That’s the long and short of it. He has written a letter that will be shown to the victims if that is deemed appropriate. I think that’s a sign of his contrition.”

Graham, who has a partner and a young child, admitted previous convictions.

Sheriff Daniel Kelly told him housebreaking was a serious charge and he would have jailed him for two years, but this could be reduced to 16 months because Graham had pleaded guilty at an early stage in proceedings.