A CARER who confronted a man rooting through the bins at the home of her elderly client realised he had a knife in his hand.

Blackburn magistrates heard Theo Wesley Rush said he had been robbed and was looking for his mobile phone.

Rush, 32, of Blackburn Road, Haslingden, pleaded guilty to possessing a knife in a public place. He was sentenced to four months in prison and ordered to pay £128 victim surcharge on release. The court was told he had been recalled on prison licence until April 10 as a result of a conviction for wounding in June 2020.

David Morgan, prosecuting, said the carer saw Rushton in the rear garden of her client's home and challenged him.

"He said someone had robbed him of his mobile phone and he was looking for it," said Mr Morgan.

"She was aware of a phone being found in the grass at the front of the house and told him this. He went and collected the phone and left."

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said because of his mental health needs and the difficulties he experienced his client was vulnerable.

"Earlier in the day he was approached by two people at a bus stop and they befriended him," said Mr Taylor

"They got access to his house and removed various items of property and a substantial amount of cash."

Mr Taylor said the police recovered some of the items and Rush took it upon himself to look for others, including his phone.

"He was fearful these people would return and he accepts he went out with this knife," said Mr Taylor.

"He has been trying to get back to some kind of normality and this will undoubtedly set him back."