A MAN committed a series of theft and burglary offences at a time when he was homeless and without benefits.

Blackburn magistrates heard Marley Pearson was also found in possession of a knife in the grounds of a children’s nursery, but Janet Sime, defending, said it was on a Sunday and the nursery was shut.

Pearson, 22, of Blackburn Road, Accrington, pleaded guilty to burglary at Purestyles Bathrooms and Kitchens and theft of a TV, burglary at Costa Coffee and theft of almond milk, a second burglary at Costa Coffee and theft of a box of coffee worth £52, burglary of a caravan belonging to Moving People and theft of a laptop worth £500, theft of tools from a van and possession of a knife in a public place.

He was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months, made subject to a community order for 12 months with 20 days' rehabilitation activity requirement and 80 hours' unpaid work and ordered to pay £200 compensation for the tools.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said the tools were stolen from a parked van and the owner, a joiner, had to replace them before he could continue his trade.

She said while Pearson was in Purestyles he made two phone calls, each of them lasting 15 minutes.

At Costa Coffee he caused damage to the intruder and fire alarms which cost £300 to repair.

At the Moving People caravan he caused £1,000-worth of damage.

Janet Sime, defending, said her client accepted he had been looking for things to steal at a time when he was homeless and unable to claim benefits.

“That is not the situation now,” said Miss Sime.

“He has a settled address and has managed to get benefits, and he wants to work with the probation service.”