A BURGLAR was confronted after creeping into a Carlisle couple's Stanwix home as they slept.

The city's crown court heard how David Whitaker was woken at 5am on December 9 by the bedroom door of his Cavendish Terrace house being opened.

Mr Whitaker went downstairs and found intruder Liam Matthew Warwick, 22.

After a brief confrontation Warwick climbed, empty-handed, out of a window.

"An investigation found blood had been left on an internal window sill," said prosecutor Jon Close. "That was traced by DNA to this defendant."

An impact statement had been provided by Mr Whitaker. "He expresses his shock that a burglar had entered a bedroom near where he and his wife had been asleep, and then gone downstairs and continued to look for things in the living room," said Mr Close.

Mr Whitaker had added: "I can't believe this happened to us."

Warwick, of Wentworth Drive, Lowry Hill, Carlisle, admitted burglary. The court heard of his previous burglary conviction having entered Carlisle Bed Centre after scaling scaffolding while suicidal.

Mark Shepherd, defending, said Warwick was drinking before the Stanwix burglary. "He has no recall of the offence taking place. He has had the courage to take responsibility for what he must have done. He acknowledges that because his blood was at the scene," said Mr Shepherd.

Mr Shepherd said Warwick was suffering from mental illness which, the court heard, could affect his attitude to risk, and described his medical problems as "long-standing, significant and relevant".

Warwick had shown remorse for the crime, hadn't offended since and currently had access to the specialist support he needed. There were concerns he wouldn't get this if jailed.

Judge James Adkin concluded that Warwick's mental disorder was linked to his commission of the burglary. In view of his condition, he suspended a 16-month jail term for two years, and imposed unpaid work, rehabilitation and a six-month night-time curfew.

Judge Adkin said: "I am going to give you a final chance. If I see you again for burglary I will give you four years in prison."