A DRUNKEN thief took car keys from a home in Burton after breaking into a house which used to belong to a childhood friend.
Lewis Morrissey went to the house on Calais Road regularly in his younger years, and went in out of curiosity when he passed by in January, Burton Magistrates’ Court was told.
The house was empty at the time, as it was being renovated to be rented out.
In a hearing on Wednesday, prosecutor Emma Thompson said: “This is a property that the injured party rents out and it was being renovated for the new tenants to move in.
“He made some admissions in interview saying he was drunk at the time. He remembers going into the house and may well have taken the keys.
“Despite the fact it was unoccupied, it was a dwelling house nonetheless.”
Morrissey, of Elizabeth Avenue, Rolleston-on-Dove, broke a window to get into the house. He cut himself on the glass, allowing detectives to trace him through DNA in the spattered blood.
Mrs Thompson called for £240 in compensation to cover the cost of the broken window and the stolen keys.
The 24-year-old admitted breaking into the house and taking keys when he appeared before the bench.
Jo Tait, defending, told magistrates that Morrissey suffered with drink problems.
She added: “He accepts he went into the address and he has a vague recollection of being there, but some bits are hazy.
“He says he was drunk, and it’s a house he used to use all the time as a child. He went in out of nosiness.
“He doesn’t know if he stole the keys, but if there were there and then not, he accepts he must have done so, and then discarded them.”
Magistrates requested a report from the probation service before sentencing Morrissey.