A BURGLAR was found unconscious on a Carlisle street the day after he broke into a house in the city and stole a wallet.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how Andrew Morris, 34, who has a long history of committing shoplifting offences but no history of burglary, blamed his actions on what he believed was a “bad batch” of Valium tablets.

He admitted burglary.

Prosecutor Charles Brown told the court that the defendant carried out the burglary at a house in Flower Street, Carlisle, at around 10pm on October 26.

The man who lived there disturbed Morris after hearing noises while he was upstairs and investigating.

It was later confirmed that the victim’s wallet was taken, complete with identity documents and bank cards.

At 7.25am the next morning, said Mr Brown, police found the defendant lying unconscious in Bowman Street, Carlisle.

He was taken to hospital.

When police officers searched Morris, they found the wallet he had taken in the burglary the previous evening.

“He was interviewed and had no recollection of what went on the previous night because of what he had consumed,” said Mr Brown.

Mark Shepherd, for the defendant, of Cant Crescent, Upperby, Carlisle, said the defendant accepted that a jail sentence was inevitable.

The lawyer said: “Mr Morris had been using Valium at that time and the reason for that is he was bereaved four to five years ago. He lost somebody very close to him and he spiralled into addiction – heroin addiction.”

With help, Morris had beaten that addiction but sadly he had moved on to Valium, which he was taking morning, noon and night, said Mr Shepherd. “On this occasion,” continued the lawyer, “he surmises that he received a bad batch.

“It very much affected his behaviour.”

In the past, Morris had frequently been a shoplifter but burglary was very much out of his character, said Mr Shepherd. The lawyer continued: “He wants to apologise to the victim and he acknowledges it must have been a frightening ordeal.”

Mr Shepherd noted that the defendant had difficulties with his mental health, and that he had himself in the past suffered attacks which left him with significant injures which are having an enduring effect on him.

He needed to change his lifestyle. Mr Shepherd added: “If he remains in that lifestyle, he runs the very real risk of losing his life at a very, very young age.

Judge Nicholas Barker jailed Morris for a year, telling him: “You are somewhat vulnerable and you have a drug addiction but it is apparent that to date you have done little to control that addiction. I don’t consider there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.”

Earlier in the hearing, the prosecution accepted the defendant's not guilty plea to an allegation that Morris entered a staff office at The Cumberland Infirmary on October 19 with intent to steal.