A CONVICTED burglar found asleep after smashing his way into a primary school's ‘Wendy House’ was identified immediately - as he was an ex-pupil.

Burnley Magistrates heard how a teacher at Hasingden Primary School discovered Lee Hanley and recognised him.

His solicitor said Hanley had found himself living rough and was looking for places to stay or ‘camp out’.

He claimed he saw a broken window in the Wendy House/ play area but accepted he may have caused further damage by going in through that window and sleeping there for the night.

The court heard he had caused damage to the tune of £100 to the children's summer house.

Hanley, 20, had earlier stolen six DVDS worth £200 from his mother's home in Hud Hey Road, Haslingden. He told police the films, which belonged to her partner, were then sold for £4.50 each to fund his cannabis habit. Hanley had gone on to steal a £15 XBox game from Rawtenstall Asda, a month later.

The jobless defendant, a burglar who has served time, admitted theft on April 29 and March 28 and £100 damage at the school on May 7.

Hanley, of Parkinson Street, Haslingden, who was in breach of a conditional discharge, received a 16 week curfew, between 9pm and 6am, seven days a week. Hanley, who has three offences on his record, must pay £100 compensation to the school.

The bench chairman, who said the theft at his mother's home was a breach of trust and she deserved better, told the defendant: "You are going to find yourself in serious trouble if you carry on with this kind of behaviour."

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said at 6.45am, it was discovered somebody had broken into the summerhouse and was asleep. A window had been damaged and wooden panelling had been removed. Hanley was recognised as he was a former pupil.

When Hanley was arrested he denied causing any damage to the outbuilding, claimed it had already been done and he had gone in through an open window with two other men, intending to ‘camp’ overnight.

Ben Leech, for Hanley, said he had been sent to custody for 56 days for burglary, which was a wake-up call for him because he needed to get a job and back on track.

He moved in with his mother and stepfather, the relationship with his stepfather broke down and he took the DVDs, which he believed were his stepfather's, in frustration and anger.

The solicitor added: "He's had the short, sharp, shock of custody and one hopes that still weighs heavily on his mind."