A DIY enthusiast said to have accidentally chopped off his big toe went out and stole a saw after he was released from hospital, a court heard.

Dad-of-two Martin Roy Blenkinsopp, 40, had cut through the bone of his toe with an angle grinder.

He then ‘taped it back on’ himself and sat in the house for two days because he had a ‘morbid fear’ of hospitals.

Blenkinsopp was eventually taken for treatment by a friend and medics managed to save the toe. Blenkinsopp had antibiotics for two weeks and now needs more surgery.

The hearing was told the first time he set foot out of the house after his ordeal he had been caught stealing from a skip at the back of Colne Matalan.

He had a haul which included a saw, which he had put in his jacket and which fell out as he was walking along, two kitchen knives, gardening equipment, storage equipment and pictures.

Blenkinsopp, who had discarded the pictures, was found by police in the early hours and had told them he had got the items by climbing through a hole in a fence. The thieving had started when he saw a plastic container by the skip and decided to take it to replace his young son's broken Lego box.

The defendant, of Birtwistle Avenue, Colne, admitted possessing a knife blade or sharp pointed article in a public place at Windy Bank and theft, on January 20.

He was bailed until February 14 for sentence and could end up behind bars. Burnley magistrates heard on January 20, his partner said they had run out of hand rolling tobacco and he managed to get a wellington on his injured foot and went out in the snow.

He wanted some fresh air, went past past Matalan and saw the plastic box through the hole in the fence.

Andrew Robinson, prosecuting, said an officer spotted Blenkinsopp at 2.30am.

The defendant had a rucksack and stolen property was found.

The defendant had a criminal record and had just completed a suspended sentence, the court heard.