Man helped friend then burgled him

Can you help police find missing man last spotted in Portsmouth?

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A MAN who helped his neighbour turn his shed into a bar returned hours later and burgled it.

Richard Mullett helped his friend John Wright kit out his garden shed with beer pumps and bottles of spirits.

But after spending hours in the pub the 20-year-old decided to go and ransack the place.

Mr Wright was woken by the noise of Mullett smashing the shed window.

When Mr Wright confronted him Mullett claimed someone in the pub had told him Mr Wright’s son, Daryl, 19, had burned his shed down and he was getting his own back.

Mullett, a former fairground worker, of Hatherley Road, Paulsgrove, then pulled out a toy gun and brandished it at his neighbour.

In what the judge described as a bizarre incident Mullett then went home and called the police himself.

Prosecutor Ruth Ball said: ‘Rather strangely in this case it was the defendant who called the police to say he had been burgled.

‘He then went on to say the burglars had a gun. He then said he had a gun and he demanded police presence or there might be a murder.

‘In the 999 call you can hear the victims demanding their things back.’

Stephen Smyth, defending, said: ‘He had built this bar. That night he was in his local pub.

‘He had had too much to drink. Somebody in the pub told him that it was Daryl Wright who burnt their shed down. He thought it was bound to be true. He went round to even the score.’

Mullett had been due to stand trial but he changed his mind and pleaded guilty to burglary and carrying an imitation firearm.

Judge Graham White said: ‘What happened here does seem to be bizarre.

‘It has arisen out of some ongoing dispute with the family.

‘You picked up what was a toy gun, not intending to use it.

‘That’s a dangerous way of looking at things because as I say to people who carry knives, if you carry something that looks dangerous you could be inviting trouble.

‘Things could get out of hand and you could get hurt.’

The judge handed Mullett a 12-month community order and told him to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

The thief was also told to pay £140 in compensation to his victim and £200 in court costs.