'Wrong house' reveller sentenced for burglary

A drunken reveller went to the wrong house for a birthday party and helped himself to alcohol, a court has heard.

Joseph Konopka, 19, of Sticklepath, near Barnstaple, Devon, had been drinking heavily before wandering into the home of a complete stranger.

He was discovered in the hallway by a shocked family member.

Konopka, who admitted burglary and possessing a knife at Exeter Crown Court, was sentenced to community work and given a supervision order.

The court was told the burglary took place at at a detached house in Newport, Barnstaple, which has its own garden and drive.

Mr Chris Bennett, prosecuting, said Konopka had walked into the unlocked house and closed the front door.

The house was occupied by a family, whose two sons were playing on their games console in the lounge.

One of the family members went out for a breath of fresh air and found Konopka by the dining room holding the wine.

"He was caught red handed clutching several bottles of wine which he had moved from the dining room," Mr Bennett said.

Konopka had remained compliant and said from the outset he thought he was attending a party.

Mr Bennett said police found a lock knife in Konopka's pocket, but there was no suggestion he had threatened to use it.

Defending Konopka, Mr Nigel Wraith, said: "This was an unusual burglary. He was very drunk."

Judge Graham Cottle said he "didn't buy" Konopka's explanation, but accepted his actions had probably been down to the amount of alcohol he had drunk.

"He had been drinking during lunchtime and through the afternoon and by the time he went to the house I don't think he knew where he was," he said.

The judge put Konopka on a supervision order for 12 months and ordered him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid community work.

Konopka was also sent on an alcohol awareness course.

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