Burglar John Walton wore a police forensic suit as a bizarre disguise while raiding his friend’s home because of a £5 debt.
But ironically the work of crime scene investigators who found his DNA at the property has now put the serial offender behind bars.
And when officers arresting Walton, of Chopwell, Gateshead, asked him what he was doing with a bag containing a white suit and a bat he said he had found them, adding: “Here man, it’s mad around Chopwell”.
Walton, of Chopwell in Gateshead, targeted the home of his former pal Daniel Foster after he failed to pay back the last £5 of a sum of £100 he owed him, Newcastle Crown Court was told.
After smashing his way inside through a back door, he used a baseball bat to damage a television.
Terrified Mr Foster, who was in bed at the time, was woken by the sound of the break-in and climbed out of an upstairs window onto the roof to escape the intruder.
Walton was arrested after a witness spotted someone wearing white forensic overalls near the property.
The court heard that when officers found him, in trees nearby, he had a bag with him containing the white suit, a balaclava and a cap.
And on police bodyworn camera footage he can be heard telling officers he had found the bag.
Walton, 28, of Forth Street in Chopwell, was jailed for 39 months after pleading guilty to burglary and unrelated offences of wounding and possession of a bladed article.
In locking him up the judge, Recorder Toby Hedworth QC, told him: “You have a significant number of convictions for serious offences. If this sort of behaviour continues, if you continue to have fights with people in your neighbourhood, the courts will very soon lose patience with you and the sentences will become longer and longer.”
Jane Foley, prosecuting, explained how the burglary happened after Walton fell out with Mr Forster.
“The victim of the burglary is a man called Daniel Foster,” she said. “He had been a friend of the defendant up until June of this year when the friendship soured due to a £100 debt.”
The court was told that Mr Foster had paid £95 back to Walton, but still owed him £5.
“At 2.14am Mr Foster was asleep in his home. He was woken by the sound of someone trying to smash a glass panel,” Ms Foley continued. “He jumped out of his bed and climbed on to the flat roof of his kitchen.”
When Mr Foster eventually re-entered his home he discovered his television had been smashed, and the glass panel on his door was broken.
Police were called, and as they began investigating the burglary a member of the public told officers they had seen a man nearby wearing what looked like a white forensics suit, the court heard.
Police found Walton soon after and he had the bag with the suit and other items with him.
When Mr Foster’s home was examined forensically traces of blood were found on the television.
Ms Foley added: “The blood found at the scene contained the defendant’s DNA profile.”
The court also heard details of an attack Walton had carried out on a Chopwell resident, on August 19.
The court was told that the victim was woken up at around 6am by the defendant’s brother, who was banging on his door.
He chased him away with a golf club, which he took with him when he went to the local shop at around 10.30am.
“As he approached the shop he saw the defendant leaving the shop and shouted he wanted a word with him,” said Ms Foley. “He saw the defendant pulling something from his pocket.”
He had a knife and a small screwdriver, the court heard.
“The two men began to fight and the complainant struck the defendant with a golf club. He did so until it snapped.
Walton then stabbed the victim in the thigh.
Tony Davis, defending, said that it ‘beggars belief’ that the victim of the attack had not been charged with an offence himself.
“This was a significant degree of provocation, and perhaps self-defence gone too far,” he said. “The defendant accepts that he stabbed him.”