Raider jailed for 20 months

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A BURGLAR who carried out a £10,000 raid while the householder’s teenage son was at home has been jailed.

Colin Thurlbeck used his own ladder to break into a house in Ashbrooke, Sunderland, and take £10,000-worth of jewellery.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 17-year-old was home alone at the time, realised what was going on, and ran for help.

A cleaner tried to detain the raider.

But the 40-year-old managed to get away with £10,000 worth of jewellery, including Rolex watches.

Prosecutor Simon Worthy told the court: “The cleaner went upstairs to confront whoever might be there. She went into the toilet where he was making good his escape, in fact holding onto him at one point, but he managed to get out and disappear.

“She almost managed to detain him.

“Jewellery, including watches, were stolen from the house.

“A value of £10,000 was attributed to the items, which included Rolex watches and the like.”

The householder told police in a statement: “I feel very angry about this. I feel my son, who is only 17, could have been assaulted or worse.

“I work hard for what I have and feel annoyed someone could come in here and take my property.

“I am in shock this could happen in broad daylight.”

Thurlbeck, of Azalea Avenue, Sunderland, who was jailed for a series of house raids in 2008, admitted burglary.

Jamie Adams, defending, said Thurlbeck had relapsed back into drug use after a bereavement and had thought the house was empty when he targeted it.

Mr Recorder Jeremy Freedman jailed him for 20 months.

The judge said: “An aggravating feature of this offence was the son of the occupier, who was only 17, was in the property when you were burgling it.

“It must have been very upsetting and very distressing for him.

“He had good sense to run for help.

“You need to understand the upset and distress you cause to people when you break into their houses.”