A HOMELESS man who attempted to raid a branch of Sainsbury's on the same night he burgled a Scout hut confessed as soon as he spotted a police officer, a court heard on Friday.

Peter Mullins, who has battled long-standing addiction problems and lives a "nomadic" lifestyle, first tried to break into the supermarket in South Street, Wareham on February 15. On the same evening, he broke into the Guide and Scout hut in nearby Bestwall Road and stole a laptop.

The 42-year-old admitted burglary and attempted burglary on an appearance at Poole Magistrates' Court. He returned to the court days later to admit a third charge of failing to comply with the requirements of his post-custodial supervision.

Richard Withey, prosecuting, said police quickly rushed to the scene after receiving a report of an attempted break-in at Sainsbury's.

They found the defendant, who was dressed in dark clothing and carrying a bag.

He immediately said: "I've just broken into Sainsbury's.

"Are you here to arrest me?"

He also told them he had raided the Scout hut.

A claw hammer and a crowbar were found inside his bag.

Mullins, who wasn't represented in court, has a long record of offending, it was heard. He went into care as a child and started taking drugs at the age of just 12. He has been in Dorset for around a year, although has no links to the area.

The defendant said he turned to crime after being reported for begging.

"I got reported for begging. I was just stupid really," he said.

"I'd chosen not to commit crime. That's all I've got in my favour."

He said he is engaging with homeless outreach charity St Mungo's and Bournemouth council, but does not have a bank account to receive benefits. He is also not registered to a doctors' surgery.

Despite that, he told District Judge Stephen Nicholls: "I don't have a habit any more.

"I'm actually clean. I don't use."

The judge sentenced him to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months and ordered him to complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days. Compensation for both the Scout hut and Sainsbury's was also ordered.