Bellshill break-in foiled by neighbour

A break-in at a Bellshill pensioner’s home was foiled by an alert neighbour who spotted the culprit as she was cleaning her windows.

Serial thief Robert Blakeway, who fled empty-handed when he was disturbed, was jailed for 11 months at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

The 73-year-old had left her home in Mansfield Road about 7am on June 27.

But she left the bathroom window slightly ajar.

Jennifer Guy, prosecuting, said: “A witness was cleaning her windows about 8.10am when she saw two males, Blakeway and Robert McLaughlin, in her neighbour’s back garden.

“The accused Blakeway climbed a drainpipe, pulled the bathroom window open and climbed through.

“The woman shouted out of her window and told her husband what she had seen.

“He looked out and saw both men leaving.

“The police were called and the householder confirmed nothing had been stolen.”

Blakeway, 37, admitted housebreaking with intent to steal while already on bail for another matter. McLaughlin, 36, faced the same charge, but had his not guilty plea accepted.

Defence lawyer Nicky Matteo said Blakeway has struggled with a drug problem since his teens.

At the time of this crime he was taking street valium and needed money to buy more.

Mr Matteo added: “He’s been doing better while on remand in Barlinnie awaiting this case. He has tested negative in three random drug tests.”

Sheriff Thomas Millar jailed Blakeway for 11 months, to take effect when he has completed a four-month stretch imposed in another case.

He told the accused: “You were on supervision at the time of this offence and have a terrible record for crimes of dishonesty.”