A FOUL-MOUTHED thief who swore at police offered to put money back ... into the swear box he had stolen.
Darren Lawrence, 29, of Paynters Lane, Illogan, pleaded guilty at Truro Magistrates' Court to burglary at Stratton & Creber estate agents and stealing property of a value unknown on November 24. He also admitted possessing cannabis.
Gail Hawkley, for the CPS, said a man living opposite the agency in Fore Street, Redruth, was about to leave for work at 5.15am when he heard banging and saw Lawrence kicking the door panel and breaking the glass. He rang the police and Lawrence was found inside, apparently asleep and drunk. He was abusive and aggressive.
A swear box and its contents were missing, along with stamps and pens. Lawrence had been found with the property, and cannabis, on him.
He said he had been out drinking - and discovered that his hair had been cut in different lengths - but could not remember anything about it.
His solicitor Mark Charnley said Lawrence had been homeless for about a year, previously living on a travellers' site. He had mental health problems in the past, coupled with alcohol and drug problems, and other background issues from his childhood.
"When I saw him at the police station he looked as though he had been dragged through a hedge backwards and he had no idea where he had had this done to his hair," he told the magistrates. "Part of his head had been shaved."
"He could not remember what went on that day and it frightened him. He wanted to put some money back into the swear box."
Lawrence, said to be on a college course in music production, was getting help with his problems. He could not remember what happened on the day of the offence, which frightened him.
The case was adjourned for probation inquiries to February 1.