A BURGLAR who entered a property to get out of the rain took a jacket to walk home in and then decided to keep it.

Lee Haley, 54, entered a large cabin on Red Beck Road in Cleator on August 31. The owner of the cabin, Joseph McAvoy, uses it to store items and had left it unlocked.

Pamela Fee, prosecuting at Workington Magistrates’ Court, said the defendant entered the cabin and took a khaki gilet. He then left the area on foot.

CCTV footage led police to the defendant and officers found the gilet hanging up in Haley’s property.

During police interview, Haley said he knew the location from fishing in the River Ehen. He had no idea who owned it and said he had used it because it was raining.

He said he was cold and wet so took the jacket. He was planning to keep it for his own use but was willing to pay for it.

The gilet was valued at £40 and had been recovered. Ms Fee said the defendant was last before the courts in November 2004.

Haley, of Kilbride Place, Frizington, pleaded guilty to burglary other than dwelling with intent to steal.

John Cooper, defending, said: “I don’t think he realised who it belonged to. It’s just used by people down there who are fishing.

“He knew fine well he shouldn’t have taken the jacket. He has gone in there to get out the rain. It continued to rain.

“He saw the jacket and thought, ‘I will wear it to go home in’. He stupidly decides to keep it.

“It’s been a long time since he had any contact with the police and it’s not something he wants to repeat.”

Magistrates fined Haley £60. He was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £16 victim surcharge.