A BURGLAR was caught ‘red handed’ by police standing on the shoulders of an accomplice, and using a pole made from broom handles and sellotape to try and steal a handbag.

Declan Eccles, of White Street, was collared by officers from Cheshire Police, using the makeshift pole and hook to push through a transient window.

The female occupant was asleep.

Warrington Crown Court heard last Wednesday, Eccles was trying to snatch a bag from a home on Thynne Street in the town centre.

Alexandra McCruker was alone at the address, and was ‘shocked’ to be woken by police in the early hours of the morning, as she had locked the doors and windows.

Peter Hussey, prosecuting, said neighbours had called 999 after seeing Eccles at the window.

The defendant was on bail, waiting to be sentenced for another burglary, when committing the latest offence on January 20, this year.

Recorder Michael Blakey said: “(Eccles) indicated he would never do this again, but has gone on to reoffend.

“He simply continues to disregard the impact of his behaviour on his victims which is a cause for concern.”

John Oates, defending, said Eccles has learning disabilities which means he is not able to make decisions properly.

He said: “There’s mention in the probation report he has some problems.

“He has the approach and demeanour of someone who is very easily lead.

“This is a grossly inadequate young man, but sending him to prison would be damaging and premature.”

However, Mr Blakey said Eccles had threatened his victim’s right to feel safe.

He added: “I understand the difficulties you may labour under but there’s a full report dealing with the way they can be damaged.

“The occupier was at home, and there they should feel safe, far from disturbances by you.

“Clearly, someone breaking into somebody else’s house, is a frightening experience.”

Eccles, wearing a grey hooded top and trainers, was sentenced to two years in a Youth Offender’s Institute.

A woman in the public gallery stormed out of court and shouted ‘I don’t believe this’.