Recovering addict broke into own home to pay off loan shark
A RECOVERING drug addict donned a disguise and broke into his home in order to pay off a loan shark.
Peter Andrew Weaver pretended he had been burgled as he tried to raise money for his debt.
He admitted making a false report to police that his Evington Court home at Edinburgh Place was burgled when he appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates' Court.
The 49-year-old said his laptop and £100 in cash had been taken while he was away between August 19 and 20.
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Weaver, who is unemployed, went on to sell the computer and paid off the money. But an inquiry into the crime was said to have wasted 48 hours in police time.
Nick Cooper, in mitigation, said: "He feels foolish for pretending to burgle his own house and is extremely remorseful about what he did. His logic was clearly warped.
"He is seen on CCTV pushing opening his gate and coming back in a disguise and going through a window of his own flat.
"Even the officer said it was very obvious it was him and found the situation very comical. I think there were some chuckles within the constabulary when the CCTV was looked at.
"He is someone who has run up debt because of his misuse of drugs and unfortunately someone demanded £200.
"His parents helped him with the repayments for the laptop and often asked him about how he was getting on with it. He didn't want to face his parents and explain, nor go to them for the money, so he decided to pretend to burgled his own home."
Weaver, who has been clean of drugs for nearly 18 months, has previously served a "substantial" prison sentence for two burglaries.
Prosecutor Sharon Jomâa said he had no intention of making a false claim to an insurance company after the CCTV showed him breaking into his home and leaving carrying a package.
She said when he was arrested and interviewed, he told police: "You must have laughed when you saw the CCTV footage."
Chairman of the magistrates, Steven Chandler, told Weaver: "This was a very foolish thing to attempt. You tried to convince police while you had burgled your own property.
"We all know the time demands on the police and that is a problem for society as a whole."
Weaver, who is on job-seekers' allowance, was sentenced to 12 months' conditional discharge and ordered to pay £50 court costs.