An elusive heroin addict who was being hunted by Carlisle police over shop thefts was finally caught – in the middle of a burglary.

Jamie Wade, who had stolen goods worth almost £1,500 during a two-week spree of thefts, told the police officers who arrested him in a stranger’s house: “I want remanded: I’m sick of this.”

At Carlisle’s Rickergate Magistrates’ Court, the 21-year-old defendant entered guilty pleas to the burglary and to seven thefts.

Diane Jackson, prosecuting, outlined the circumstances of the April 15 burglary.

She said that the owner was out of her home in Aglionby Street, Carlisle, but returned home shortly before 11pm, noticing that a lighter and a bread-knife were lying the ground outside her property.

“She recognised the lighter as one of hers,” said the prosecutor.

“She went into her home through the locked door and saw that her living room had been turned upside down and ransacked.

“The whole property had been turned upside down and cupboards emptied out.

“There was a note from the police left in the house, asking her to get in touch.

"She looked at the window and saw that the latch had been forced.”

Earlier that evening, said Mrs Jackson, a witness had called the police to report seeing a man seen breaking into the woman’s home.

Officers arrived a short time later, finding Wade in the victim's hallway.

That was when Wade told them he was sick of his criminal lifestyle and asked to be locked up.

Mrs Jackson said police had wanted to question the defendant about the series of shop thefts in Carlisle but they had been unable to track him down.

A self-confessed heroin addict, Wade stole to fund his habit, said the prosecutor.

In the spate of thefts, committed in the space of a few weeks in April, he stole goods – mostly power tools, worth just under £1,500, from the B&Q DIY store in Carlisle.

He also stole alcohol worth £72 from Bargain Booze in Furze Street, and a hoover worth £49 from B&M Bargains in St Nicholas Gate, Carlisle.

Mrs Jackson said the burglary was carried out during an evening, when there was a chance the householder may have returned home.

"There doesn’t appear to have been pre-planning," she said.

"He’d seen her [the victim] earlier in the evening and realised she was out and so decided to go round and commit this burglary.

“At the time, he was under post sentence supervision.”

Chris Toms, for Wade, said the case could be dealt with by magistrates, who can impose up to six months custody for any one offence but no more than a year in total.

Magistrates disagreed, and sent the case to Carlisle Crown Court for sentencing on May 22.

Wade was remanded in custody.