Burglar broke his neck and was left in coma after falling 18 feet in Christmas Day club raid

A burglar who broke his neck and was left in a coma when he fell 18-feet while escaping a club raid has been spared jail

Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 10:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 10:17 am
Karl Hogg

Karl Hogg, who also broke his arms and legs and suffered an extensive head injury, was in intensive care for a week and spent over a month in hospital

after falling from a first floor window at Houghton le Spring Snooker Club on Christmas Day last year.

A judge at Newcastle Crown Court has said he has "no sympathy" for the serial criminal's painful plight.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The 27-year-old had been found lying on the ground in a pool of blood with a "substantial head injury" outside the club, where £800 cash had been taken from gaming machines and £3,000 worth of damage had been caused to fixtures.

Hogg, of Baker Street, Houghton, Tyne and Wear, who has no recollection of that evening at all, was not carrying any money when he was found injured and it is believed others may have been involved in the raid.

He pleaded guilty to burglary.

Mr Recorder Nigel Sangster QC told him: "I am told while carrying out this burglary you injured yourself badly and that is you own fault.

"I must say, I have no sympathy for you and the injuries you sustained during the escape from that burglary and falling from the window."

Hogg, who has 30 previous convictions, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with rehabilitation and programme requirements.

The judge told him: "I am going to give you a chance" after hearing Hogg now wants to lead a decent life as a good partner and father to his family.

Julie Clemitson, defending, said Hogg had spent Christmas Day with his partner and child at his mother's house but has "no recollection whatsoever" of the break-in.

She said: "He has no idea how he ended up involved in this but the direct consequences have been profound.

"The punishment sustained as a result of his own actions has been considerable.

"The pain and suffering he has undergone, and continues to undergo, is a constant reminder of the poor choice he made that day.

"He damaged himself quite so badly. How he didn't kill himself is staggering, given the level of injury he sustained."

The court heard Hogg's arms were broken in multiple places, both kneecaps were broken, his neck was broken in two places and he was in coma due to the severe head injury.

A probation service spokeswoman, who gave evidence at the hearing, said Hogg, who has set up his own website business, had a cocaine habit at the time and was desperate for cash.

The officer told the hearing: "He said, in a bizarre way, the bang on the head is what he needed. He has come to his senses and realised it is not the life for him."

The court heard the club manager had feared losing business as a result of the damage caused that night.

Hogg showed no signs of the extensive injuries he suffered when he walked in and out of court.