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Aberdeen man jailed after breaking into wrong home, taking his shoes off and getting locked in porch by owners

Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

A man who “accidentally” broke into an Aberdeen family’s home in the middle of the night ended up a “prisoner” locked in their porch with no escape.

Jeff Binnie thought the property on Provost Rust Drive in Northfield belonged to a friend and even took off his jacket and shoes before creeping around the house in the early hours of Monday, December 9.

But he realised his mistake when he turned on a bedroom light and came face-to-face with the horrified and half-asleep homeowners, a married couple and their ten-year-old daughter.

Binnie, 26, then brandished a knife in their direction before he was ushered into the porch and had the door locked behind him, leaving him completely trapped until the police arrived.

He appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday having previously pleaded guilty to housebreaking with intent to steal, possessing and brandishing a knife, and acting in a threatening or abusive manner.

Sheriff Philip Mann said Binnie’s actions had to be taken “extremely seriously” and jailed him for 30 months.

Binnie had also been carrying an adjustable spanner and a screwdriver, which he’d used to force his way into the property through the kitchen window.

Fiscal depute Anna Chisholm said: “Officers arrived and saw the accused in the porch. He held out a knife and pointed it at them and shouted and swore at officers.

“He was asked to throw the knife out the window and he eventually did this.”

Solicitor Mike Monro said his client had taken a “whole mixture” of drugs and alcohol before mistaking the house for a friend’s home.

“He thought he was in the property of someone he knew, as they have a house he is familiar with round about,” he explained.

“He did attend the premises and then took off his outer clothing and jacket and shoes, as if he was settling down for the night.”

Mr Monro said the homeowners had been able to lock Binnie in the porch with little difficulty, effectively leaving him a “prisoner” and “with no means of escape” while they waited for the police.

He added that Binnie was “a mess” at the time.

“He was asked what on earth he was doing at that place and with those items but his only answer is ‘I really can’t tell you.’ Mr Monro said.

The court heard that Binnie, whose address was listed in court papers as HMP Grampian, had a “catalogue” of previous offences and in August was placed under supervision and given unpaid work.

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