A HOMELESS man became so desperate that he asked Hereford police officers to lock him up for the night – when they refused, he walked across the street and smashed the window of a dental surgery.

Jonathan Cook, 33, was grieving the recent death of a close friend and had nowhere to go, Emily Gourley, defending, told Hereford Magistrates Court on Friday.

“He wanted to be arrested,” she said.

“It was not sophisticated at all.

“He went to police station and asked to be arrested.

“The officer, quite rightly, said no, and so he thought he had to steal something to be arrested.”

This led to Cook crossing the street to the Hereford Dental Clinic, breaking the front widow and reaching in to grab the closest thing to hand – the top of a water purifier.

“He was drunk at the time and was not thinking straight,” said Jackie Rogers, prosecuting.

“He did not even know what the item was.”

However the result is a sad case of Cook – who accepts that he has a drinking problem – getting what he wished for.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks in custody for burglary by head magistrate Julia Steel, for “the protection of the public and the reduction of crime”.

In the dock a tearful Cook, who pleaded guilty to the charge, broke down.

Holding on the plate glass he sobbed apologies to his uncle, sat at the back of the courtroom, with whom he had been living since his arrest.

“Now he has family support, he does not want a custodial sentence,” Mrs Gourley told the court.

However it is not the first time that Cook has been before the court; he has amounted 43 convictions for theft or similar offences.

As recently as April 4 he was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, and had not long been out when he reoffended on June 18.

However living with his uncle since then had provided Cook with a more stable base than he had had for some time, Mrs Gourley told the court.

And he hopes to return there after his sentence.

As Cook was removed from the courtroom, his uncle said: “I helped you the best I could, I’ll see you in six weeks.”