A MAN was caught with stolen property which had been taken from his friend’s home in a burglary while he was recovering from an operation.
Shaun Batey’s £500 Sony television and £300 laptop were taken from his flat during a raid while he was staying with family to recuperate after surgery in hospital last July.
The 29-year-old was informed by a neighbour that his home had been targeted and asked his pal Stephen Cleghorn, who lives in the next street, if he had noticed anything suspicious happening while he was away.
Cleghorn, 27, told his friend he had not seen anything strange but when police raided his home Mr Batey’s property was found in his bedroom.
Prosecutor Neil Pallister told Newcastle Crown Court: “Mr Batey regarded Cleghorn as a friend.
“On speaking to Cleghorn he told Mr Batey he had not seen anything or heard anything.
“The matter was reported to the police that day and the same day officers attended Cleghorn’s address and recovered the stolen goods from his bedroom.”
Cleghorn, of Somerset Cottages, Sunderland, was initially charged with burglary but the charge was dropped after he pleaded guilty to an offence of handling stolen goods.
Mr Pallister told the court Mr Batey had been through enough with his hospital stay and the raid made his situation worse.
Judge Roger Thorn QC sentenced him to a community order with a four-month night-time curfew and ordered him to pay £500 costs.
Judge Thorn told him: “It was a pretty mean offence, receiving stolen good which just happened to come from your friend who you happened to know was in hospital.”
Jane Foley, defending, said Cleghorn has a full-time job.