A HOMELESS man broke into a garage and stole £12 out of the till.

Blackburn magistrates heard at Matthew Lang was living in a tent at the side of Sunnyhurst Reservoir on the moors above Darwen.

On the day of the offence he was expecting a phone call from a housing agency and when the call did not come he felt particularly deflated.

Lang, 31, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to burglary at Station Tyres and theft of £12 and going equipped for theft.

He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 100 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £250 compensation.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said the police were called after a broken window was seen at the premises.

"An officer saw someone climbing out and the defendant was arrested nearby," said Mr Robinson. "The window grille had been prised back and the window smashed."

Damien Pickup, defending, said his client had been struggling with accommodation since he had to leave the Salvation Army a few weeks ago.

Mr Pickup said despite sleeping in a tent by the reservoir Lang had maintained contact with the probation service, who were supervising a community order.

"Through them he was expecting a call on Monday from a housing agency," said Mr Pickup. "The call never came and he was particularly deflated by that."

Mr Pickup said Lang was wandering aimlessly around Darwen when he saw a tool bag outside the garage.

"He saw an opportunity and took a metal tool out of the bag and broke in," said Mr Pickup.

Passing sentence the chairman of the magistrates said they had noted he was engaging with the probation service under extremely difficult circumstances and they had given him credit for that.

He said it didn't alter the fact he had committed the burglary.