Burglar jailed after fight with student

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A BURGLAR who fought with his student victim has been jailed for two years.

Steven Clarke was confronted by Adam Marsh in the back yard of the house in Durham City centre, Durham Crown Court heard.

“Mr Marsh was returning home and had planned to enter his house from the back,” said Jane Mitford, prosecuting.

“As he approached he noticed a stranger – this defendant – was leaving the property.

“The defendant asked Mr Marsh if anyone had dialled 999, but Mr Marsh took hold of him to find out what was going on.”

The court heard Clarke was dragged into the house and during the struggle his clothes were ripped from him.

Another student resident tried to hold Clarke, but he struggled and managed to run off.

Ms Mitford added: “A Playstation, games and other property was found piled in the yard, ready to be removed.

“Fingerprints taken from the scene matched those of Clarke and he was arrested.

“He admitted going out to burgle and said he had chosen the house because he thought no one was in as there were no lights on.”

Clarke, 20, of Goodyear Crescent, Sherburn Road Estate, admitted burglary on November 1.

He has a previous conviction for burglary. Lee Fish, defending, said in mitigation: ”Mr Clarke is a cannabis user and turned to crime to get money for a drugs debt.

“The confrontation was unpleasant, but he meant the householders no harm, he was only trying to get away.

“He accepts it will be prison and hopes the time in jail away from cannabis will cure him of the desire to use it.”

Recorder Jonathan Aitken jailed Clarke for two years and told him: “I accept you did not attack the householder to do him harm.

“But anyone who confronts a person in their own home as you did can expect to go to custody.”

Clarke was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100.

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