Masked raider helped by police with ladder after botched burglary

John McKenzie was caught burgling Penshaw Catholic Social Club

John McKenzie was caught burgling Penshaw Catholic Social Club

A masked man was caught burgling a catholic club at night.

John McKenzie tripped the alarm at the Penshaw Catholic Social Club when he broke in after closing time, South Northumbria Magistrates’ Court heard.

"Police were alerted by the activation of the alarm," said Glenda Beck, prosecuting. "Upon arrival they could see a man who was wearing a balaclava moving around inside.

"A door to the premises had been forced. The officers heard a banging sound, which was the man breaking out of a rear door into the back yard of the club."

The court heard McKenzie climbed onto the roof.

"A police officer used a ladder to help him down," said Ms Beck. "Upon arrest and caution, he said: 'You caught me'.

"About £50 to £100 had been taken from a scratch card machine."

McKenzie, 50, of Payton Street, Glasgow, admitted burglary on October 9.

Ms Beck applied for McKenzie to be remanded in custody pending sentence in two weeks’ time.

"The police have checked the Glasgow address and found it to be a building which has been demolished," she said.

Gavin Sword, defending, said McKenzie had been visiting a relative in Seaham.

Mr Sword added: "The Glasgow address does exist, it is a caravan site, and Mr McKenzie lives in one of the caravans.

"It is by no means certain the sentence for this burglary will be custody."

The magistrates ordered a pre-sentence report from the probation service.

McKenzie was remanded in custody. He will be sentenced at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on October 24.