A DRUNK man stole a rotary washing line in a “moment of madness”, a court heard.

Kelvin Robinson, who lives at the YMCA, in Middleton Street, Darlington, was extremely drunk when he broke into a garden in Darlington and stole the washing line, worth £20, Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard.

David Maddison, prosecuting, said the unemployed 20-year-old couldn’t remember stealing the washing line or what had happened to it since he took it.

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He said: “The washing line was in a rear garden of a house. It was enclosed, but the gate wasn’t locked.

“He was very drunk and couldn’t remember what had happened to the washing line.”

In a victim impact statement, the owner of the washing line, Lisa Boden, said: “It is disgraceful that someone feels it is okay to come into my property when I am in bed and steal.”

In mitigation Stephen Andrews said he was extremely drunk and had ended up in the company of a younger man.

“For no apparent reason – they don’t know this lady – they ended up in this area and thought it was a good idea to steal the washing line," he said.

“It is not the sort of item that has any cash value. He puts it down to sheer stupidity on his part.

“It was a moment of madness committed in drink.”

Robinson pleaded guilty to theft and magistrates sentenced him to a conditional discharge for six months and ordered him to pay £85 costs and £20 compensation.