Armed burglar jailed after three men team up to detain him

Colin Ayre.
Colin Ayre.
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An armed burglar is behind bars after a house owner came back and caught him mid raid.

Colin Ayre, who was carrying a knife, struggled to get away when a landlord, his tenant and a passer-by detained him.

But the 37-year-old dad-of-five failed in his attempts to flee and has now been locked up for two years and seven-and-a-half months.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the serial burglar was still inside the property at Church View Villas, in Hetton le Hole, when the landlord drove past on March 6 and noticed a garage door had been forced open.

The court heard the owner alerted his tenant, who lived there with his family, and both men approached the house.

Prosecutor Paul Rowlands do told the court: "They tried to gain entry via a rear door but there was a key inserted in the lock.

"It became apparent at that time someone was still in the premises."

The court heard while the men tried to get inside, Ayre was seen climbing out of a window, carrying a sports bag full of stolen electrical items, by a passing motorist.

Ayre was confronted by all three men a day the house owner "wrapped his arms around him" to detain him.

Mr Rowland added: "He was struggling to get away.

"It was noticed at some point he had, in his hand, a small red knife.

"It may have been folded at the time and in any event the defendant dropped the knife."

Ayre was arrested by police who had been called to the scene and was carrying a small amount of amphetamine in his pocket.

Ayre, of Kirklea Road, Houghton le Spring, admitted burglary, having an offensive weapon and possessing a class B drug.

Barry Robson, defending, said the house had already been targeted by another burglar, who took £2,000 worth or bikes, when Ayre found out a raid was taking place.

Mr Robson said: "He wasn't the instigator, he is a secondary burglar.

"He has to answer for it because he is the only one who has been arrested."

The court heard Ayre has convictions for 135 previous offences and was on a suspended sentence for a burglary at the time.

Judge Stephen Earl, who have him his last suspended sentence, told him: "You have not lived a life I anticipated when I passed that suspended sentence on you."