A MAN broke into the home of a friend while his house was empty because he had been arrested for shoplifting.
Brian Gilchrist knew his friend had been locked up and the property in Third Street, Horden, was unoccupied, Durham Crown Court heard.
“This case proves there’s no honour among thieves,” said Liam O’Brien, prosecuting. “Among the items stolen were games consoles, watches, DVDs and a rucksack.
“At the time of the burglary the victim had been kept in police custody overnight on suspicion of shoplifting.”
Gilchrist, 39 of Laing Square, Wingate, admitted burglary on August 4, and theft on August 28.
“The theft charge relates to a handbag,” said Mr O’Brien.
“It belonged to a market stall holder in Peterlee who had left it unattended near the stall,”
Jane Waugh, mitigating, said Gilchrist has been addicted to drugs for more than 20 years. Mrs Waugh added: “My learned friend says the case proves there’s no honour among thieves.
“It also demonstrates those in the grip of heroin are prepared to sell-out their friends to gain the wherewithal to get access to the drug.
“Mr Gilchrist was introduced to drugs by someone he met in prison 20 years ago.
“He has been addicted to one sort of drug or another ever since.
“While on remand for this offence he has sought help with his drug problems.”
The Recorder, Mr Paul Miller, jailed Gilchrist for 30 months.
The recorder told him: “You are 38 and have a long record for dishonesty, having been convicted of burglary in 2003 and 2007.
“I hope that you are true to your word in your probation report, and will use your time in prison constructively.”