A WOULD-be burglar was caught in a compromising position when police discovered him hanging half in and half out a door after cutting out the window pane to gain entry.

Keith Ingham, and an unknown accomplice, targeted the unoccupied home in broad daylight and was spotted by a neighbour who called 999 to report the burglary.

When police searched him they discovered a small quantity of cannabis and amphetamine – enough for one joint and £5 deal.

Teesside Crown Court heard that while he was released under police investigation for the attempted burglary he was arrested again.

This time he was found to be carrying a CS canister hidden away in his trousers when he stopped in Hartlepool by a PCSO.

Sam Faulks, prosecuting, said the attempted burglary took place on December 7 last year on Stockton Road, Hartlepool.

He added: "The defendant and another approached the property, he was seen to take an item out of a back and use that item to get the pane of glass out of the door.

"He was half in and half out of the door when the police arrived."

Mr Faulks said he was arrested again four weeks later when he was stopped by a police community support officer while acting erratically in Hartlepool.

When police searched him the located the CS gas canister hidden in his trousers, he added.

Mr Faulks said: "He said he carried the CS canister for his own protection because he had been stabbed previously, in the spleen."

The court heard how the defendant had previous convictions for burglaries, both domestic and commercial, and for possession of weapons.

Ingham, of Lister Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to the attempted burglary and possession of cannabis and amphetamine from December 7 last year, and possession of the CS canister from January 3 this year.

Jon Harley, in mitigation, said his client's drug problem was the root cause of his offending and he was now taking steps to address his addiction.

Dealing with the first charge, Judge Howard Crowson said: "This was an attempted burglary in the middle of the afternoon and a neighbour contacted the police."

He told Ingham if he had gone to trial he would have been facing an 18-month sentence but reduced that to 12 months due to his guilty plea.

The judge added: "You were then stopped with the CS gas canister in your possession. You told officers you had it for your own protections but you have some history for carrying weapons and bladed articles."

Ingham was sentenced to eight months custody for the second offence, which is to run concurrently with the attempted burglary sentence making it a total of 20 months.

Judge Crowson also ordered the destruction of the drugs and the CS gas canister.