Ex soldier admits trying to break into Wayne Rooney's house
An ex-serviceman has admitted the attempted burglary of Wayne Rooney's mansion as the footballer played in his club testimonial match.
Robert McNamara, 24, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court to attempting to enter as a trespasser at the striker's family home in Prestbury, Cheshire, with intent to steal on August 3.
The alarm at the Manchester United and England star's £6 million property in Prestbury was reportedly triggered at about 9pm and police descended to carry out a full search of the area.
Rooney, his wife, Coleen, and their three sons, Kai, Klay and Kit, were attending the charity tribute game at Old Trafford against his first club, Everton, when the break-in bid took place.
McNamara, of Newby Farm Crescent, Scalby, was arrested six days later.
The prosecution case was not outlined during the brief hearing but the court heard that McNamara had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and that his concerned family had sought help earlier this year from Combat Stress, a veterans' mental health charity.
Judge Nicholas Woodward said there were "very worrying features" in the case as he adjourned sentencing until December 21 for a pre-sentence report to be carried out by the Probation Service.
The case was previously adjourned for medical reports to be prepared on the defendant but on Thursday his barrister, Taryn Turner, said the question of McNamara's fitness to plead was no longer an issue.
The defendant then entered his guilty plea from the dock as his father sat at the back of the courtroom.
Miss Turner said her client's family had had concerns about his deteriorating mental state.
She said: "They thought he had been suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.
"There has been a detioriation since about January and February of this year and it reached crisis point in May.
"The family were asking for help and went to Combat Stress."
She said bipolar disorder was later diagnosed and the defendant was now receiving medication.
McNamara had also been referred by his GP to a NHS clinic in Scarborough which treats people with drug problems, the court was told.
The defendant was released on bail with his existing conditions of residence, not to enter Cheshire except to attend court, the surrender of his passport and to observe an electronically monitored curfew between 7pm and 7am daily.