A THIEF was spared jail only to breach his sentence within a month and is now set to go behind bars.

Arnold Cooch, 19, was given a suspended prison sentence in December after he admitted burgling a house in Southminster in October.

Cooch had been caught hiding under the dining room table.

Judge Charles Gratwicke handed Cooch a 12 month suspended prison sentence, meaning if he committed another crime within two years he would be sent to jail. He was also made subject of a curfew meaning he couldn’t leave his home between 8pm and 6am.

Despite this, Cooch, of North Street, Southminster, has now appeared in court where he admitted trespassing in a house in Burnham Road with an intent to steal between January 25 and February 9, little more than a month since his sentence.

The court had previously heard how Cooch had broken into the original house in Queensborough Road in Southminster last year in order to steal money so he could get to work the next morning.

Whilst he was in the house one of the occupants came downstairs, forcing him to hide under the dining room table, where he was eventually discovered.

Cooch had attempted to steal £26, but was arrested by police soon after his discovery.

Annabel Gough, prosecuting at the time, told the court Cooch’s victims had since developed anxiety and were not able to leave the house without worrying about it being broken into, and that they were not able to sleep for several weeks following the break-in.

Cooch appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced. However, a psychiatric report which was ordered at his previous court appearance in April had not been prepared in time.

Judge Gratwicke adjourned the sentencing until Monday June 18.

Cooch will serve at least a year behind bars due to him breaching his suspended sentence, plus potential additional time for his most recent offense.