Kevin Lever pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to breaking in to a house and attempting to steal cash, a laptop and an urn with the remains of the home owner’s husband. However, he was stopped by an elderly neighbour who managed to tie the accused hands behind his back.

The owner of the house was in a nursing home at the time in question and the alarm was raised when the neighbour saw lights on in the home. Sheriff Stirling deferred sentence for background reports but it was heard that Mr Lever had just finished a four month prison term.

Sheriff Stirling continued: “It seems to me what you need is some sort of support, but that may be after having served a substantial prison sentence”.