A TEENAGER who tried to dupe police when he was caught on CCTV moments after a burglary has been spared jail.
John Nicholson, 19, broke into a flat while its owner slept and stole video games and cash before being spotted on the complex's camera system.
Prosecuting, Rebecca Bradberry said Nicholson managed to get in to the Taunton flat through the window on August 26 last year.
The court heard that the victim, who was asleep at the time, flinched when he heard noises and his front door close.
It was said that Nicholson made off with several Xbox games and money from the victim's wallet.
When questioned by police, Nicholson admitted it was him on the CCTV footage but said he was only visiting a friend who lived next door.
He was later caught out and pleaded guilty to the offence.
Defending, Derek Perry eluded to Nicholson's difficult upbringing.
He said: “He seems to have more stability since moving back to Wellington. He had been moving from pillar to post in his childhood.
“He needs some help and support and pointing in the right direction.”
Handing him the 18-month community order, Judge David Ticehurst asked if Nicholson was “scared” to go to prison, to which the teenage said yes and promised to turn his life around.
Judge Ticehurst added: “If you miss one appointment of this order you will be back in front of me and you will go to prison.”
Nicholson must also carry out 280 hours of unpaid work and pay £100 costs.