A BURGLAR caught on camera ransacking a house has been given a community order.

CCTV footage released by police showed father-of-one Dean Evans and a second unidentified man going through drawers of the victim’s home in Abbeydale Way, Accrington, and loading them into bags.

Prosecuting, Elizabeth Evans said Evans and his accomplice smashed a glass panel on a patio door to gain entry into the house on January 31, before stealing £3,000 of laptops, jewellery, loyalty cards, as well as a PlayStation and games.

At Preston Crown Court, Recorder Kate Bex QC said an aggravating feature of the case was that the victims were forced to watch Evans and his accomplice invading their person space. But she was prepared to give him a final chance.

Ms Evans said: “The occupiers left their home at eight in the morning to go to work. The homeowner received an alert to his telephone at 2.15pm that an alarm had been tripped in the house. He made efforts to contact his neighbours but couldn’t get a response.

“He was forced to go home. When he arrived back home he found there had been an untidy search of the kitchen and all three bedrooms.”

Ms Evans said drawers had been rooted through and items had been left scattered around. A desk had also been damaged and a laptop stolen from within its drawers.

She said: “The CCTV showed the defendant with another person inside the property and burgling it.”

The court heard CCTV footage from the burglary was released as part of a witness appeal – carried by the Lancashire Telegraph – and Evans was identified.

The 24-year-old, of Norfolk Grove, Church, was arrested and initially made no comment in interview. However when he was shown to the CCTV he accepted it was him.

Evans, who has seven convictions, pleaded guilty to burglary.

Defending, Wayne Jackson said his client has had issues with alcohol and drugs but his auntie Patricia Evans had got him back on the straight and narrow. He said his client, who works as a labourer, was remorseful and aware of impact his offending has had on his victim.

Mr Jackson said: “He submitted a note to the probation officer. In it he says ‘Looking back I now know this was a stupid thing to do. I wasn’t forced to do this but I was misled into it. I know the occupier will have been left gutted by my actions’.”

Recorder Bex said: “The occupier had a CCTV system. They were able to watch you in their own home, invading their private and personal space, and you putting your hands on their things.”

Evans, who is unemployed, was given a 12-month community order, with 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He must pay £200 compensation.

Recorder Bex added: “This represents a real escalation in your offending. If you do it again I have no doubt you will go straight to prison.”