A man who admitted an offence of burglary at the waste recycling centre in Chard has been given a conditional discharge by magistrates despite it being his 50th conviction.

Jason Woods was caught on CCTV with another male breaking into a storage building on the site and helping themselves to a stash of tools and other items.

He was identified by police from the video footage and when arrested admitted the offence but refused to name his accomplice claiming the other male had actually broken into the premises.

Woods, 49, of The Mead, Ilminster, pleaded guilty to entering as a trespasser a storage building at Chard Recycling Centre on January 23 and causing £400 damage and stealing £300 worth of items when he appeared before magistrates at Yeovil.

The court heard that two males were filmed entering the recycling centre in Beeching Close around midnight which was enclosed by chain link fencing.

Prosecutor Emma Lenanton said that both gained entry and CCTV caught the damage that was caused and they were seen removing a number of items including brass, cables, battery-powered electric drills, a coal scuttle and a vice.

“The defendant was identified from a CCTV still sent to all police officers and he was interviewed where he fully admitted the offence but was unwilling to name the second male who was with him,” she said.

She added that this matter was Woods’ 50th criminal conviction, the most recent being possession of an offensive weapon for which he was given a suspended prison sentence.

Defending solicitor Greg Peters said that Woods was honest with the police when arrested and said he had gone to the recycling centre with the intention of just looking through the skips to see if there was anything he could have for his flat.

“When he entered the building the panel had already been removed, so he had nothing to do with actually breaking into the premises,” he said.

“He said he assisted the co-accused with loading items into his vehicle and said he kept nothing for himself.”

He added that the court proceedings had triggered epileptic seizures due to the stress that Woods was suffering and described his client as being “vulnerable”.

“He does accept culpability for the offence but did not cause the damage and did not retain anything for himself,” he added.

The magistrates imposed a 12-month conditional discharge on Woods and ordered him to pay £40 towards costs and a £22 victim surcharge.