A pervert who stole a woman's underwear from her washing line for 17 years has avoided going to jail.
A court heard that Stephen Cope, 47, stole his neighbour's underwear for his own sexual gratification, but has escaped a prison sentence, after admitting to two counts of theft and a charge of harassment.
According to the Daily Mirror newspaper, prosecutor Mike Phillips said: "The woman's husband saw the defendant standing in the garden.
"He chased after the defendant and caught him. On that occasion nothing was taken from the line but the defendant was hanging around there."
Cope has been handed him a 12-month community order, as well as a 10-year restraining order.