A man who smashed his way in to a flat that was in the middle of a DIY renovation and trashed it has dodged jail.
John Harris forced his way in to the property in Dundee’s St Columba’s Garden through a window – cutting himself in the process.
He then proceeded to tear down freshly hung wallpaper, rip a toilet off the wall, tamper with the electric meter and smear blood throughout the property.
Katrina Arnott, whose father and partner had been painstakingly redecorating in the days leading up to the incident, turned up a couple of days later to discover that the home had been trashed.
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court that Harris had a lengthy record – including offences of theft, fraud, attempt to defeat the ends of justice and possession of drugs.
She added: “Many items had been moved around.
“Wallpaper had been ripped from the wall and bloodstaining was found throughout.
“The toilet had been ripped from the wall and moved to a cupboard.
“The electricity meter had been tampered with and wires removed from it.
“A lighter and open can of energy drink was found.
“Police were called and SSE attended to reset the electricity meter.
“Scenes of crimes officers found the accused’s blood at the point of entry.
“He was interviewed and denied his blood and fingerprints would be found at the locus.”
Harris, 47, of Peddie Street, Dundee, pled guilty on indictment to a charge of malicious damage committed between June 10 and June 12, 2014.
He had originally been charged with theft of copper cabling and a knife by housebreaking, but his plea to the lesser charge was accepted by the Crown.
Mike Short, defending, said: “Back in 2014 he was homeless. The house was clearly empty and he went in through the window.
“He cut himself and that’s where the blood came from.
“He can’t remember doing anything else that was narrated.”
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael imposed a community payback order with 150 hours unpaid work and 18 months supervision.
He said: “It is a serious charge and you have a very bad record.
“However, this offence is nearly two years old and you appear to have made efforts to turn your life around.”