THREE men broke into the home of a man who was away receiving care for dementia.

The 87-year-old homeowner wasn’t at his home in Mousehole Lane when Jaan Beljajev, Valeri Darmin and Raigo Tamm, targeted the address.

Southampton Crown Court was told how a neighbour of the pensioner confronted Beljajev as they saw him walking away from the property with a bag containing eight bottles of alcohol.

He was also found to have a pen that had been given to his victim as a Christmas present and an AA membership card.

When police arrived they found the two other defendants in the house.

During his arrest Beljajev, 28, also kicked out at a police officer, striking him in the ankle.

Earlier the same day on March 15 Beljajev also broke into a house in Bitterne Road West– this time while the homeowner was there.

The victim told police how he heard a loud bang which turned out to be his front door being smashed open.

When he walked into his hall he saw the defendant and told him to get out.

Beljajev pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and assaulting a police officer. Darmin, 23, and Tamm, 28, admitted one count of burglary.

All three are Estonian and lived together in a squat at Beech Road in Southampton.

Mitigating for Beljajev Michael Forster said the unemployed butcher had been drinking that day.

For Darmin, Mr Forster said he now wanted to be able to provide for his pregnant girlfriend who is in Latvia. Mark Florida James, for Tamm, said he had gone to the property believing it to be a potential new squat.

Beljajew was handed a |13-month prison term, Darmin was sentenced to nine months in prison while Tamm got the same term but suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.