A late night intruder was found in the home of an 87-year-old Viewpark woman thanks to a vigilant neighbour.
The man alerted police after seeing Ian Kilpatrick in the pensioner’s garden.
Officers who got into the house discovered him sitting on a bed while the elderly occupant was sleeping in another room.
Kilpatrick, 34, was accused of breaking into the pensioner’s home in Old Edinburgh Road, Viewpark, with intent to steal on June 11 last year.
However, the prosecution at Hamilton Sheriff Court accepted his plea of guilty to an amended charge of threatening or abusive behaviour.
No reason was given for Kilpatrick, of Douglas Crescent, Viewpark, being in the house but denied he intended to steal.
Liza Lann, prosecuting, said the old woman’s next door neighbour spotted Kilpatrick looking at the OAP’s home from the street about 11.45pm.
Kilpatrick entered the driveway and garden left and returned 10 minutes later. The witness made two calls to the police during this period.
Ms Lann said: “The witness then heard tapping on a window, looked into the back garden and saw the accused pushing on a ground floor window.
“A short time later police officers arrived and the neighbour pointed to where a wheelie bin had been moved so it was under the kitchen window.
“One of the officers used the bin to enter the property via the kitchen window. He saw a pair of trainers on the floor.
“He let his colleague into the house and the neighbour advised there would be no one living there who owned the trainers.
“A search revealed the ground floor was empty, but when the officers went upstairs they saw Kilpatrick - described as being fully awake and alert - sitting in a bedroom facing the stairs.
“The elderly female occupier was asleep in another bedroom. She was extremely confused on seeing police. She advised them she had awoken to see a man in her bedroom, but thought she was dreaming.
“This elderly lady has been affected badly by the incident. She finds it difficult now to feel safe in her own home.”
Solicitor Andy Iles said social workers had compiled a “very positive” report on Kilpatrick.
Mr Iles added: “He appreciates fully the implications of his behaviour.
“He is unable to provide any explanation as to why it occurred, but he accepts his guilt and the report says he has shown genuine regret
Sheriff Shiona Waldron said she was persuaded to step back from imposing a prison sentence.
She ordered Kilpatrick to be supervised by social workers for 12 months and to attend for alcohol counselling if required.
He must also do 250 hours of unpaid community work within a year.
The sheriff added: “You will also pay £300 compensation to this woman.”
Kilpatrick, who has a job, was allowed to pay the financial penalty at £50 per week.