A 40-year-old man attempted to break-in to a Sheffield care home in the middle of the night in order to steal money for drugs, a court heard.
When South Yorkshire Police arrived at the Paddock Hill Care Home in Gleadless Road, Gleadless just after 2.30am on May 11 this year, they found defendant, Michael Wragg, up a ladder placed against an upstairs window at the care home.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how the force were called out to the scene, after a neighbour became suspicious when they noticed Wragg, of Bankwood Road, Gleadless and two unnamed accomplices approaching the care home with a set of ladders.
"He climbed down the ladders upon seeing the police, he tried to avoid them and run away, but was detained nearby. The other two men escaped," prosecutor, Carl Fitch, said.
Mr Fitch added: "When interviewed by the police he said he had gone out of the house to withdraw money for drugs, but didn't have any money in his bank account. He went past the care home and saw a light was on. He wanted to go into the office and steal some petty cash.
"He accepts he used a hammer to smash the window."
"He said he was sorry for his actions, and wouldn't have gone into the residential part of the care home. He said he was struggling with his drug habit."
The court was told how Wragg has 17 previous convictions, two of which were for burglary offences.
Wragg pleaded guilty to a charge of dwelling-house burglary at an earlier hearing.
In mitigation, Richard Adams told the court that following the breakdown of his relationship, he had been kicked out of the home he shared with his partner and four children and had been 'sleeping rough' in the grounds of the family home.
Mr Adams said that on the morning of the offence, Wragg had left the house to see whether his bank account had been credited with state benefits but found that it was empty.
He added: "He bumped into two others, who advised him the window was to a locked office, and seemed to have some knowledge there would be petty cash available.
"He broke into the office, and was caught rather red-handed. He has effectively been left holding the can."
Recorder Ray Singh jailed Wragg for 18-months during a sentencing hearing at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday.
He told Wragg: "Custody in inevitable in relation to this matter. Anybody who breaks in to a person's home with the intention to steal should go to prison. The people in the care home were obviously present at the time when you tried to enter the premises."