OWNERS of a jewellery store caught a burglar red-handed after the hapless thief set off alarms.
Anthony Hamilton had smashed a Mercedes car window, stealing a stereo and phone charger from inside before targeting Goulds jewellers in London Road, North End.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard Hamilton, 39, of Seymour Close, Buckland, removed a rear toilet window at the back of the jewellers in Heathfield Road in the early hours of June 21.
Prosecutor Russell Pyne told how the thief then drilled into a door before climbing up a ladder and cutting several wires.
But an alarm went off, summoning the owners to the shop who promptly found Hamilton inside the business.
But Hamilton, who has convictions going back 25 years, was handed a suspended sentence by a judge who heard he had vowed to come off drugs after falling out a third-storey window in a separate incident.
Mitigating, Robert Harding said: ‘The defendant accepts his criminality in the past but maintains that it was due to drug abuse and addiction, as opposed to a wanton approach to criminality or a penchant for buying fast cars.
‘He was in fact homeless, he was suffering mental illness and getting medication in addiction to drugs.’
He added: ‘The defendant fell from a third-storey window and completely split his pelvis, resulting in him spending six weeks in hospital.
‘Those six weeks gave him considerable time to reflect on his life to date.’
Mr Harding said Hamilton was unable to get drugs and came to the ‘realisation that he must change or attempt to change’.
He has since gone along to rehabilitation services.
Sentencing, Judge Roger Hetherington said there was ‘just enough’ reason to suspend a 19-month sentence for two years.
Hamilton must serve a three-month curfew from 10pm to 6am and complete 25 rehabilitation activity days.
Nothing was taken in the burglary, which Hamilton admitted along with the theft.