A 20-YEAR-OLD man caught stealing lead off a house roof has been jailed for 35 weeks.

Blackburn magistrates heard that Charlie Tegland had admitted a total of 10 offences, involving lead with a value of £1,000.

And the chairman of the magistrates, Jan Alcock, said she found it laughable that Tegland claimed to be hoping to go on a construction course.

“I struggled to keep my face straight at the thought of you working on a building site,” said Mrs Alcock.

“Who in their right mind would send you up on to a roof, unless it was to steal lead from it. You are an utter disgrace.”

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said the value of the lead was minimal compared to the cost of repairing a stripped roof.

“This kind of offence is prevalent at the moment and causes a great deal of expense and anxiety for the householders,” said Miss Allan.

Tegland, of Moorgate Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to two offences, and asked for eight others to be taken into consideration.

He also admitted being in breach of supervision requirements following his recent release from a young offender institute.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said following his release from prison, Tegland had been faced with drug debts, and had committed the offences out of financial desperation.

“The drug dealers must enforce these debts, whether it is £5 or £100, because if they don’t, people will stop paying,” said Mr Taylor.

They are ruthless people and he feared not just for his own safety, but also for people close to him.”