NEIGHBOURS who went out to investigate an alarm sounding at a Colne warehouse detained a man who they found crouching on the floor wearing a balaclava.

Blackburn magistrates heard Adam Mullarkey claimed there were two other men inside the building, one carrying an axe and the other a crowbar.

Mullarkey, 18, of Duke Street, Colne, pleaded guilty to burglary at Northern Polytunnels with intent to steal, two charges of possessing cannabis and breach of bail conditions.

He was fined £80 with £45 victim surcharge, ordered to pay £50 compensation for damage caused to a door at Northern Polytunnels and made subject to a conditional discharge for 12 months.

Peter Kelly, prosecuting, said witnesses heard the alarm at units on Lynch’s Fold Colne at about 11pm on March 29, during coronavirus lockdown, and went to investigate. They searched the area and found Mullarkey crouched on the floor wearing a balaclava.

“They secured his hands with cable ties and detained him until the police arrived,” said Mr Kelly.

He said Mullarkey had a small amount of cannabis in his possession and was also in possession of the drug when he was arrested for breaching bail condition by being out during the hours of a curfew.

Daniel Frazer, defending, said his client made admissions at the scene after being found outside the premises.

“He has not been in trouble for three years,” said Mr Frazer.