A prolific burglar from Mansfield who tried the handle of a locked front door and then walked away has been jailed.
An observant neighbour spotted Leigh Paddon in the early hours of December 8, on King’s Stand, in Mansfield, and immediately phoned the police.
The neighbour watched as Paddon tried the front door of a house before going around to the back and breaking into a garden shed. Nothing was taken and police arrested him nearby.
Prosecuting, Zaiban Alam said: “When interviewed he claimed he was taking the short cut home and there was no dishonesty on his part.”
The court heard that Paddon had a number of previous convictions for theft, shoplifting and handling stolen goods and was responsible for ‘a large number of residential and nonresidential burglaries’ from 2004 onwards.
In 2011 he was sentenced to 24 months in prison.
Defending, Steven Ramsell said: “This was no more concerted an effort than to try the handle of a door and walk away.”
He said Paddon, formerly of Babworth Court, had been homeless in the months leading to December and was staying with a friend in the Bellamy Road area.
He said: “Mr Paddon was left with nowhere to go and roamed the streets of Mansfield. He found this quiet residential area and tried his luck.”
Paddon had a £60 a day heroin habit, but since custody ‘had cleaned himself up a great deal.’
Paddon admitted trespassing with intent to steal and burgling a shed at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday.
Recorder Jason MacAdam said: “You are 32 years of age and you have got a dreadful record of dishonesty.
“There is nothing wrong with you. You are perfectly capable of looking after yourself.
“The fact is that if that door had been open it would have been worse for you because the sentence would be three times as long as it is.”
Paddon was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge.