A DRUG addict who broke into a Dunfermline home and stole a £40,000 car has been jailed for five years.

Paul Richardson broke into a house in Dunfermline, stole the Mercedes car then drove to Auchtermuchty, where he carried out another housebreaking.

In both cases there were people at home and sleeping when the break-ins took place.

Serial offender Richardson, who already had a lifetime driving ban, was caught when the tracking device on the vehicle was activated and revealed it was at a car park in Cupar.

Police went there and found Richardson behind the wheel. He had been living at the James Bank Hostel in Dunfermline at the time.

He had told a neighbour there that he had stolen a car and also had a phone for sale.

Richardson, 34, a prisoner at Perth, appeared from custody at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on Tuesday and admitted a string of offences.

On October 26, he broke into Comely Park House, New Row, Dunfermline, and stole a quantity of electrical equipment and a car key. He also admitted stealing the car.

On October 27 at a house in Clement Court, Auchtermuchty, he stole a mobile telephone, a sum of money, a bank card, tobacco and a piggy bank.

On the same day, he drove a car on various roads including Parliament Square and Kirk Wynd, Cupar, while disqualified and without insurance.

Depute fiscal Claire Bremner told the court the victim in Dunfermline fell asleep at around 11.30pm and then heard a loud bang.

Her son had gone downstairs at around 12.30am for a drink and found the patio doors were open. He closed them then saw a speaker had been knocked off its stand and some bottles of whisky had been moved but he went back to bed.

When the female home owner got up at 5.45am she went downstairs and immediately noticed her vehicle was missing. She also noticed there what appeared to be jemmy marks on the patio doors and called the police.

The next day, Richardson struck in Auchtermuchty. The victim had gone to bed at around 1.30am and had not locked the front door.

When he woke up at 6am he noticed an item of clothing in his bedroom had been moved but blamed this on his cat and went back to sleep.

However, when he got up at 9am he discovered several items were missing and contacted the police. On this occasion, the goods stolen were worth just £40.

Defence solicitor Martin McGuire said his client was living at the hostel at the time of the offences and had relapsed into drug addiction.

Sheriff Craig McSherry told Richardson he was taking into account his “record of housebreaking, theft of vehicles and driving while disqualified” and jailed him for a total of 60 months.