TWO 'urban explorers' who burgled an Eden Valley 'drug lords' mansion were caught out after making online boasts about their crime.

Ben Hopkinson, 26, and 29-year-old Craig Stephen Sinkinson admitted breaking into Flass House, in the village of Maulds Meaburn near Appleby during 2011 or 2012, before stealing a microphone and a clock, respectively.

Prosecutor Brendan Burke spoke of the "local notoriety" of Flass House. "It is a very large Georgian building which was used for a time as a prolifically productive cannabis factory," said Mr Burke.

During 2015, criminal gang members received jail terms totalling almost 40 years for plotting to supply cannabis with an estimated potential worth of more than £5million.

In the wake of publicity surrounding that case, "urban explorers" uploaded video footage to social media which attracted millions of views.

Hopkinson and Sinkinson came to the attention of police when they posted comments in response to that footage.

"Mr Sinkinson put a message on Facebook that he had stolen a clock," said Mr Burke. That message had read: "She is a big timepiece, let me tell you."

Hopkinson, meanwhile, confessed to stealing a recording microphone.

Both men made admissions when quizzed by police and later returned the stolen property. But each man disputed the high values placed on the clock and microphone by the property owner.

Robert Dudley, mitigating, said Sinkinson was "very sorry" for a "very silly" crime at what was believed to have been an "abandoned drug lords' mansion".

Mark Shepherd, for electrician Hopkinson, said Flass House "was legend" at the time of their break-in.

"It seems that almost these items were something like trophies, mementos, of the adventure they were involved in," said Mr Shepherd.

Recorder Anne Brown, sitting at Carlisle Crown Court, gave Hopkinson, of Hyde Park, Edenhall, near Penrith, and Sinkinson, of Castle Court, Penrith, 12-month community orders. They must each complete 80 hours' unpaid work.