A CONVICTED burglar who moved homes without telling his probation officer was astonished to find himself dubbed one of East Lancashire’s ‘most wanted’.

Robert Metcalf, 21, had made such progress on his probation order that officers were considering whether to discharge it early, Burnley Crown Court was told.

But Metcalf moved from his home in Hillside Close, Brierfield, to be with family in Stacksteads, without informing the authorities.

And when Lancashire Police issued their top 10 ‘most wanted’ list, over Christmas, Metcalf was shocked to find himself on the front page of the Lancashire Telegraph.

Defence counsel Nick Dearing said: “He promptly handed himself in at Burnley police station, between Christmas and the New Year, and he was bailed to attend court.”

Mr Dearing said that since the original offence - he was convicted of burglary in 2011 - he had not been in trouble since.

“He was aware that the probation order could have been revoked but he jumped the gun and went ahead without telling his supervising officer,” he added.

David Traynor, representing the probation service, said the order had been in place for 14 months and consideration had been given to it being revoked.

He told the court that no explanation was given regarding his absence, which had led to the breach proceedings being started.

Metcalf admitted breaching his probation order and was given 25 hours community service by Judge Simon Newell.

Police have confirmed that Thomas Coupe, wanted for allegedly damaging a house in Oswaldtwistle, had been arrested but the others on the list remained at large.