A "blind" burglar led pursuing police through a river after he was caught breaking into a derelict school.

Paul Anthony Gibson, 55, was handed a five-month jail term for a crime he committed at Eden Grove in Bolton, near Appleby - formerly a residential school for boys.

Sarah Magill, prosecuting at Carlisle Crown Court, gave details of an incident which occurred on the afternoon of August 24.

"A police officer attended the property following reports of criminal damage and burglary at the property," said Ms Magill.

"The building was in some state of disrepair and had been vandalised."

At the entrance, the officer found a pile of metal along with seven hacksaw blades, a lantern and a holdall.

"Within the property they found the defendant, who was carrying an armful of metal pipes," said Ms Magill.

When tackled, Gibson claimed: "The owner said I could have what I wanted."

Gibson resisted attempts to apply handcuffs and jumped over a nearby bridge in a bid to hide. Police tried to apprehend him.

"This involved wading through the river," Ms Magill said.

Gibson was arrested and later admitted burglary and resisting a PC. He had 191 previous offences on his record - 54 for theft and similar.

Ian Hudson, defending, said Gibson, of Arundel Street, Swinton, Manchester, was registered blind, and homeless at the time following a prison release.

He had entered through an open entrance and confirmed the building was badly damaged. "None of it (the damage) falls at his doorstep because the Crown have absolutely no proof it was him."