Notts burglar tried to break into best friend’s home while he was on holiday

A would-be burglar from North Notts tried to break into his best friend's home while he was away on holiday without realising a guest was staying there, a court has heard.

Paul Hancock and his accomplice Darren Fisher were wearing balaclavas when they tried to break into the house on Windsor Court, in Bircotes, at 4.45am, on July 17.

The female guest was woken by a noise and turned on a live CCTV camera, which showed two figures tampering with the back door lock.

When police arrived, Hancock fled across nearby gardens and hid under a bush, but was caught with a £130 sat nav, which he had stolen from the guest's Audi by smashing a window with a brick.

Stock - House Robber / Burglar / burglary / break in

"He said it was mad because this was the home address of his best mate, and this turned out to be true," said prosecutor Alan Murphy.

Fisher was found hiding behind some kitchen cabinets in the back garden.

"They both gave somewhat dubious accounts," Mr Murphy said.

Hancock claimed he saw “three lads” stealing the sat nav and tried to chase them, while Fisher said he was hiding in the garden to detain them if they returned.

In a statement, the woman said she was still suffering with flashbacks from that night and struggles to leave her house.

"If I hear a noise in the night, I panic,” she said.

The 69-year-old home-owner, who had been on holiday in Skegness with his wife, said he had known Hancock for 20 years since employing him as a glass-collector in a pub he used to run. He no longer

"I can't believe he would do something like this," he said. "It has put doubts into my head about everyone I know."

Nottingham Crown Court heard Hanock has 34 previous convictions for dishonesty and was jailed in March, for driving while disqualified, but had no record for dwelling burglaries.

Alexandra Scott, for Hancock, said: "He is appalled at his behaviour. There is real scope to impose a comprehensive order to keep him on the straight and narrow."

Gregor Purcell said Fisher, who has no previous convictions, initially denied the offence because he was frightened, and was remorseful.

"They can't properly explain why they were there. This is entirely out of character."

Fisher has now served the equivalent of a five-month sentence and his council home may not be available if he receives a longer sentence," he said.

"He had been drinking throughout that day. He is ashamed of what he has done. His stated aim is to provide support for his son."

Hancock, 40, of Rutland Crescent, Harworth, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and theft from a vehicle, and Fisher, 35, of Dorchester Road, Bircotes, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary.

Judge Nigel Godsmark QC said: "It must have been terrifying. The only reason you didn't get in is because you were thwarted by the arrival of the police."

On Thursday, Hancock was sentenced to 28 months and Fisher received 15 months. They were banned from contacting the home owner, his wife and their guest, for five years.