A prolific burglar slashed a police officer after climbing onto the roof of a Morecambe hotel while on the run.
Nathan Alan Stewart targeted three family homes in Cork Road in Lancaster last September and stole items while the occupiers and their young children were asleep.
The burglaries took place after Stewart had absconded from Kirkham Prison.
One home-owner, who lives with his wife and their four young children, woke on the morning of September 11 to discover his back door was unlocked.
A later search of the house revealed his child’s iPhone had been taken from their bedroom while the child slept.
John Parkinson, who also lives in Cork Road, was asleep in bed with his pregnant girlfriend when 24-year-old Stewart broke in.
At Preston Crown Court today prosecutor Bob Sastry said: “Mr Parkinson noticed damage to the rear French doors. Access hadn’t been gained and it cost £120 to change the locks.
“Ryan Croasdale lives in Cork Road with his partner and their two young children. At 6.30am they were woken by a dog barking and they could hear the keys rattling downstairs.
“Items had been moved from the kitchen windowsill and there was a drop of blood.”
The court heard analysis of the blood matched Stewart’s DNA profile.
Police arrived at the scene and Stewart was arrested nearby. When he was interviewed he made no comment when asked about the burglaries.
Stewart was charged with the burglaries but failed to turn up to court.
“At 3am on December 11 of last year a number of police officers responded to reports of males acting suspiciously near the Honey Tree restaurant in Morecambe,” Mr Sastry said.
“The defendant was seen, he ran off and they chased him, then he climbed onto the roof of a house and officers lost sight of him.
“Then at 4am he was spotted on the roof of a hotel. He began to shout ‘fuck off I’ll come down when you’ve gone’ and threw roof tiles down to the ground.
“Police went inside the hotel in an attempt to get Stewart down from the roof. He smashed a skylight window and the officers grabbed hold of him.”
During the struggle one officer was struck to the face with a shard of glass which caused ‘a very, very serious injury’. PC Meeks also suffered a serious cut to his hand which required an operation and 12 weeks of physiotherapy.
Stewart also appeared in court to be sentenced for a burglary which took place in Wigan in September 2019 when he stole a Nissan Qashqai.
The day after the Wigan burglary the Nissan was found crashed on the M6 near Lancaster. The car had been fitted with stolen number plates and Stewart’s fingerprints were found on the passenger door.
Defence barrister Anna Chestnut submitted a number of references to the court including letters from Stewart’s mum and sister-in-law. Stewart himself also wrote a letter of apology.
“He very candidly says that one of the worst decisions he ever made was to abscond from prison,” Miss Chestnut said.
“He had nowhere to go, he was sofa surfing, and as he was on the run he had no way of making money and fell into drink and drugs.
“He had a flat in Carlisle with his then girlfriend who was pregnant but in September things came crashing down when the summons came through for the burglary.
“His girlfriend left the property without warning, with the baby, and he was devastated.”
The judge, Beverley Lunt, said Stewart has ‘a really terrible record’. Previous convictions include offences of burglary, taking a vehicle without consent, theft, affray, battery and shoplifting.
“Your behaviour on the rooftop was out of control, it was absolute madness,” the judge said.
“You hurt at least three police officers, one of which was very badly hurt, and they were trying to get you off the roof without killing yourself.
“You know the upset burglaries cause, and the anxiety, to wake up and find out someone has been in your house.
“You are heading for double figures for your next offence but you are still young enough to turn your life around.”
Stewart, formerly of Albert Street in Penrith, pleaded guilty to the burglaries, assault offences and affray, and was jailed for a total of five years.
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