Sunderland guest left house party with stolen laptop

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A PARTY guest stole a laptop and other items worth hundreds of pounds.

Asylum seeker Dalton Mtengwa had been invited back to the house by a woman who lived there.

Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard the 23-year-old from Roker helped himself to her flatmates’ possessions while they slept.

Sarah Guest, prosecuting, said one woman woke on the morning of September 25 and thought someone had opened her bedroom door.

She said: “It was 8.40am in the morning and one of the housemates had woken up.

“Prior to that, she thought her bedroom door had opened slightly, but did not think anything of that.

“She got up and then had a text message from one of her flatmates, who had returned home with a black male.

“Her laptop had in fact been taken and cash had been taken from a jacket pocket of another house mate – £18 had been taken from a jacket that had been left in living room.”

A docking station, bank card and cash worth £111 were also stolen.

The victim said she felt “exposed” after finding out someone had sneaked into her room while she was asleep and upset that photos on the laptop, worth £450, had been lost forever.

Mtengwa was arrested after his DNA was found at the house in Heaton, Newcastle.

He pleaded guilty to burglary, theft and breaching a conditional discharge.

The court heard Mtengwa, of Roker Avenue, was made subject to a court order on August 14 for possession of a controlled drug and making off without payment. He had come to the UK with eight other family members, who had all been granted asylum.

He was not entitled to any benefits and was given £35-worth of grocery vouchers every week to live on.

Mr Cassidy said: “He went back to Newcastle as a guest to stay the night. He does not accept it was planned.

“He went down in the morning and was looking for the kitchen.

“He opened one of the doors and saw a laptop. Having took the laptop, he then takes other items and leaves.

“He said it was impulsive, not planned. He said if it was planned, he could have ransacked the place the night before.”

District Judge Roger Elsey said Mtengwa should serve his 18-month sentence in the community.

“The community is better protected by dealing with the causes of your offending and that can only be done under a community sentence,” he added.

No order for costs or compensation was made by the court.