Drunk burglar threatened to use his 'Tai chi' when confronted for trying car doors

A Flintshire man downed pills and booze before carrying out a burglary spree. He threatened to use martial arts when he was caught in the act.

Michael Hughes, of Bridge Street in Shotton, appeared before Mold Crown Court on Thursday. He faced several charges including burglary, attempted burglary, common assault and criminal damage.

The unemployed 44-year-old hit two houses in the Deeside area last year, and managed to steal a few items.

READ MORE:North Wales drugs gang sentenced to 130 years behind bars

Prosecutor Andrew Green told the court that Hughes was linked back to the site of his first burglary on Windsor Avenue in Connah's Quay after leaving something behind. As he conducted an "untidy search" of the pensioner's home, he left behind a bottle of methadone prescribed to him in a black rucksack.

This took place in the early evening of October 4 and was reported to the police by the son of the homeowner. He told them that he discovered someone had been in the house when he went to check on the home while his mother was away on holiday.

The court heard that Hughes had emptied drawers and left the television set "outside in the garden" but had made off without taking it. However, he hadn't gone far, as police were soon alerted to another incident in the next street.

On Eaton Avenue, Michael Bilton was at home making tea for his family when Hughes started "trying the back patio door". When Mr Bilton confronted the man trying to break into his home, Hughes demanded a bottle of water.

Hughes asked the homeowner how to "get out" of the garden and was given directions to leave. It was presumed Hughes was leaving, but checking the front garden, Mr Bilton found him trying the car door handles.

This prompted a second confrontation and, when he was asked to leave, Hughes "offered to fight" with Mr Bilton.

Drunk burglar threatened to use his 'Tai chi' when confronted for trying car doors

Hughes told him, "I could kill you if I wanted" and said that he "knew Tai Chi". The court went on to hear that Hughes proceeded to "lick his hand" and "tried to slap" the man.

Mr Bilton narrowly avoided a blow to the face before wrestling Hughes to the ground. After this, he left the scene and police were told of the incident.

Hughes was found a little further away on the high street of Connah's Quay - now wearing a woman's coat - and arrested. While being taken to custody, he started to spit in the back of the car, which then needed to be professionally cleaned.

The stolen items were later recovered and valued at roughly £1,500. Other goods worth £200 were never found.

During his raid on the property in Windsor Avenue, Hughes broke a shower screen as well as several ornaments. The court heard that damage was also sustained to an internal door as well as a television unit.

In interview, Hughes told police that he remembers "drinking some gin" and "taking some pills". He recalled being in the Wepre Park area while it was still light - but not much after that.

Was this sentence enough? Let us know in the comments below.

Nicholas Williams, defending, told the court that his client was "just surviving" on benefits at the time of the "unsophisticated" spree. He regrets the actions that night but knows he "must pay the price", he said.

Mr Williams said the best mitigation on offer were Hughes' early guilty pleas. His client remembers "very little" of what he'd done that night between taking the substances and then "waking up in a police cell".

Judge Niclas Parry said he could tell two things just by looking at Hughes. Firstly that he was not proud of himself but that he also genuinely had no idea what really happened that night.

He determined that repeat offender Hughes - who has a history of breaking into homes - could only be punished with jail. He was sentenced to 14 months for the burglary with no further punishment for the other three offences.

Have a look at the latest crime stats for your area below.