A MAN who barged into people's homes and confronted them talking 'gibberish' has walked free from court.

On one occasion Leighton Lewis, 39, was wearing a balaclava when he entered a home.

Gloucester Crown Court heard how residents of the properties in Stonehouse called the police when a man talking 'gibberish' barged in and confronted them.

Lewis, formerly of Vittoria Walk, Cheltenham, but now of no fixed address, admitted stealing letters from one address and damaging a fence at another.

Although his offences breached a suspended prison sentence already hanging over him for previous offences the judge spared him immediate custody.

Recorder Richard Mawhinney told Lewis “You are throwing your life away.

“We see lots of people like you in the dock. But they don’t look like you, as you look well and have your wits about you now that you’ve been off drugs and alcohol whilst you’ve been remanded in custody."

Prosecutor Alex Daymond explained how one victim was in the kitchen of his home in Laburnum Walk when the door burst open and Lewis, wearing a balaclava, entered around 2pm March 23.

“The man told the intruder to leave and the defendant attempted to leave by the front door,” said the prosecutor.

"After a further confrontation the man ran out of the front door, slamming it behind him.

“As he fled he jumped over the garden fence, causing some damage. Mr Nash called the police and when the officers arrived they were approached by two other residents who had also seen Lewis.

“One woman explained to the officers that she had been taking a nap when she was woken up by a man entering her bedroom.

"She questioned him and recalls him responding in gibberish and making strange noises. He claimed he used to live in the property as a boy."

When Lewis was arrested he gave 'rambling gibberish responses' and it soon became clear that he was suffering from mental health issues.

Lloyd Jenkins, defending, said Lewis had served the equivalent of a six month prison sentence on remand.

Lewis admitted stealing letters and causing criminal damage worth £20 to a garden fence.

He was given a six month conditional discharge at the hearing on Friday, July 21.