An alleged burglar’s GPS tag partially melted when he accidentally set his trousers on fire, a court heard.

Tree surgeon Josh Clifft, 25, and another had poured an accelerant on the brash fire in order to get the blaze started.

But the flames spread to his trousers, partly melting the electronic tag he had been ordered to wear around his leg after he was bailed by the courts earlier in the year. He faces an allegation of burglary.

Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard Clift cut the damaged tag from his leg, triggering an alarm. He had let the tagging company know about the issue.

But when two staff members from the firm rang the intercom for his flat in Longhedge, near Salisbury, on June 27 there was no answer. A mobile phone number they had for the man did not connect.

The tagging company staff returned on June 29 and again there was no answer at the door.

Mark Glendenning, defending, said his client had been at the house on both occasions, but the door intercom was not working. The mobile phone number they had for Clift “was not his”, the lawyer said.

Clift, of Davies Road, Longhedge, admitted breaching his bail conditions.

He was re-admitted to bail after magistrates heard he had been helping to look after his grandparents during the lockdown.

He is due before Salisbury Crown Court on July 23.