A DISABLED man stealing electricity was rumbled after police looked under the stairs for his crutches – and found the meter bypassed.

Officers had turned up at Nicholas Fallon's Colne home to arrest him on suspicion of running away from an affray even though he only had one leg, a hearing was earlier told.

Fallon, 28, of Varley Street, who lost his leg due to heroin abuse, had been watching TV when the officers arrived.

He needed his crutches and when police opened the cupboard to get them for him, they found the wired meter, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The defendant, who the court was told had been hard-up after paying for his mother's funeral, struck whilst on a suspended jail term for heroin dealing and could have been locked up.

Recorder Robert Shaw, who said Fallon's life had gone off the rails when he became a heroin addict, congratulated him on getting off drugs and gave him a 12 month conditional discharge.

The defendant had earlier admitted abstracting electricity in breach of the 36-week suspended prison sentence.

Mark Stuart, for the defendant, said by and large since he had been given the suspended sentence he had done quite well.