Great Britain

Bishop Auckland burglar was 'highly intoxicated' at time

A “CRUDE” shop break-in resulted in more damage being caused than the value of the items taken in the “opportunistic” offence, a court heard.

Daniel Joseph Coatsworth was said to be “highly intoxicated” when he smashed the front window of Savers store, in Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland, on Sunday September 20.

Durham Crown Court heard he caused £3,000-worth of damage to the display window before taking bottles of perfume and after shave to the value of £208.

Jonathan Gittins, prosecuting, said there was initially some doubt if he was assisted in the commission of the offence, as a witness described him passing items out, as if he was handing stolen goods to an accomplice.

Judge James Adkin said a “gang burglary”, is more serious in sentencing terms

Coatsworth, who appeared by video link from nearby Durham Prison, protested that there was, “no-one else there.”

Stephen Hamill, for Coatsworth, told the court: “My instructions are that he took the goods and passed them out of the window, but not to anyone else.”

Following an adjournment to re-examine cctv in the area, the case came back to court where Mr Gittins confirmed there was now no beliefof anyone else being involved.

Mr Hamill said: “The damage, £3,000-worth, would have caused significant loss, but there was no planning.

“He admits in interview he was extremely intoxicated, and he’s used an implement to smash the window, but did not take anything along with him.

“It was just opportunistic.

“Despite his young age he’s a chronic alcoholic and that, in turn, has led to drug misuse.

“He’s never taken advantage of the community orders he’s received in the past and has become locked into a cycle of offending.”

The 27-year-old defendant, of Woodlands Road, Bishop Auckland, admitted burglary, which put him in breach of a suspended sentence and community order.

Among the offences for which he was in breach was a house burglary, with others, in Durham.

Judge Adkin noted Coatsworth has a long record of mainly acquisitive crime to pay for his drink and drug misuse.

Describing the Savers break-in as, “a pretty crude affair”, Judge Adkin imposed a six-month prison sentence for that, added to eight months of the dwelling burglary suspended sentence which he activated, to run consecutively, making a total 14-month prison sentence.

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