A THIEF is behind bars after stealing tools worth more than £450 from his landlord.
The tools disappeared from an unoccupied room in Azalea Terrace, Sunderland, between March 21 and March 25.
Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard the finger of suspicion was pointed at tenant Ian Anderson, 43, and the landlord searched his room, in the same property.
Inside, the landlord found one of his hammers and called the police.
When officers searched the room, they found a small bag on cannabis in a jacket hanging on the back of the door.
Anderson pleaded guilty to burglary, theft and possession of a Class B drug, when he appeared before magistrates.
The court heard that the missing tools –worth £455 – were found in drawers under Anderson’s bed which had been pushed up against the wall.
Anderson, of St Luke’s Road, Sunderland, initially denied stealing them, telling police the landlord “had it in for him” and wanted him out of the property.
He then claimed he had bought them from a second-hand shop in Hylton Road, before changing his story again and saying he was keeping hold of them for a friend.
Paul Anderson, prosecuting, told magistrates that Anderson had 30 convictions for 80 offences and almost half of them were for offences of dishonesty.
Tony Southwick, defending, said other people had been arrested in connection with the break-in, not just Anderson.
He said: “There are a lot of other people living there and most of them have problems, a lot of them have criminal records.
“One other person has come to him and said ‘I have got this’ and he has stored them in his room, which is in close proximity to where they were taken from.
“Drugs were found in his possession during the search. He fully admits that.”
He added that Anderson was a former heroin addict, who one Christmas was sent on a stealing spree by drug dealers and ordered to go into T J Hughes in Sunderland, every day for six days to steal flat screen televisions.
He added: “He is a young man with problems and he needs help.”
Magistrates sentenced Anderson to serve eight weeks in jail for theft, burglary and possession of cannabis.