A MAN who repeatedly broke into homes across the area last year was caught by homeowners wearing a high-viz vest.

Martin Hamill, 45, was even confronted by one householder who had just bought a bucket of paint and swung it at him, drenching the would-be thief with paint.

The 45-year-old appeared at Paisley Sheriff Court on March 6 where he admitted five offences stretching from Eaglesham to Nitshill and East Kilbride.

At about 9pm on January 26, 2019, a 15-year-old girl returned to her home in Holehouse Road, Eaglesham, while her parents were out. When she got to the living room, she heard an internal door slam shut because of a draft. Suspecting the back door was open, she immediately went to a neighbour who contacted police.

Depute fiscal Keri Marshall said officers found many rooms ransacked and in disarray, with drawers open and property on the floors. The rear glass door had been smashed above the door handle for someone to reach in and unlock it with the key in the door.

A black laptop was missing, along with a tub of mixed coins. All items were later recovered.

On March 18, a homeowner in Whitacres Road, South Nitshill, returned home around 7.15pm and was unable to open the front door because the security chain had been put on. She went to the back patio doors and found the glass smashed and the door wide open.

A white gold ring with diamonds worth £500 and a watch worth £600 had been stolen. 

A pair of gloves had been left on the driveway, and there was a blood stain in the bedroom, which forensics later matched to Hamill.

On November 18, around 5.15pm, a homeowner in The Leas, East Kilbride, was notified by his home alarm linked to his mobile phone. When he returned home to find the rear door smashed but the property didn’t appear to have been entered.

Police were called and while attending got alerted to another housebreaking at 5.50pm when homeowners in Sweet Thorn Drive, East Kilbride, saw a man in a grey hoodie, black scarf over his face and a high-visibility vest exiting their home carrying itemsan Xbox and mobile phone.

The homeowner had a can of paint they had just bought and swung it at Hamill, opening and covering him before he made off.

Police were notified of another incident in Raeside Grove, Newton Mearns at 6.45pm when a homeowner heard banging next door. She and her husband saw a man pushing and pulling at the back door of a neighbour’s property and contacted police.

Again, the man was in a high-vis vest.

More neighbours heard the banging and gave chase to Hamill, who made his way into a building site.

Police climbed a nearby grass verge and saw Hamill running away, chasing him until they caught him in thick undergrowth towards the M77.

The Crown accepted not guilty pleas to charges of driving in Aurs Road, Darnley Road and Whitriggs Road in Barrhead, Nitshill and elsewhere without insurance, or a valid MoT. They also accepted a not guilty plea to driving dangerously in Whitriggs Road where he mounted a pavement onto a pedestrian footpath while being chased by police.

He was also not guilty of an assault charge while in East Kilbride on November 18.

Defence solicitor Mark Chambers said his client, a prisoner of Low Moss, had been out of trouble since September 2015 but suffered from anxiety and had started self-medicating with street valium. 

He was in a “drug-fuelled abyss where he loses control of himself”.

Mr Chambers said: “Reflecting on his conduct leaves him in great distress.”

Sheriff Seith Ireland told Hamill house breaking is an “invasion of privacy of a person’s home” and “no-one ever really feels the same again”.

He deferred sentence until April 3 for reports to be prepared.

Hamill was remanded in custody.