Adopted son broke into father’s bungalow to live in loft and scratched 'shame on you dad' on side of Mercedes car

An adopted son broke into his father’s bungalow and spent several days living undetected in the loft.

Friday, 9th August 2019, 06:00 am
South Shields Magistrates' Court.

Trevor Carter Herbert went to the property in Village Lane, Washington, to borrow money after falling on hard times.

His adoptive parents were on holiday, but Carter took the presence of their Mercedes on the drive to indicate they were in but avoiding him, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

“One of the elderly couple’s biological children was keeping an eye on the house,” said Lee Poppett, prosecuting.

“He told Mr Herbert the couple were away, having got a lift to the airport which explained why their car was on the drive.

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“Mr Herbert left, but not before he scratched ‘shame on you, dad’ on the side of the Mercedes.

The court heard Herbert was next seen by the son in the garage of the property.

“He had drunk £60 of his father’s favourite brandy which was stored there,” added Mr Poppett.

“He was asked to leave, but when the mother and father returned home, his mother had the feeling someone was in, or had been in, the property.

“Mr Herbert appeared on the landing having, it seems, spent several days living in the loft.”

Mr Poppett told the court Herbert’s father doesn’t want Herbert near his house, but hoped he would get the help he needs.

Herbert, 46, of no fixed abode, admitted burglary and criminal damage on March 5 and March 8.

John Graham, defending, said: “Mr Herbert has worked for much of his life, rising to senior positions in the construction industry.

“He suffered a mental health breakdown, but after a break continued to work.

“Things got badly on top of him and he lost his last job.

“At this point, he was desperate, living in Princess Anne Park in Washington.

“It had been raining for five hours, so he went to his parents in the hope of getting some shelter, at least in the garage.”

The court heard Herbert has since sought help with his drink and drugs problems.

Herbert was sentenced to a community order of 18 months, 30 rehabilitation activity days, and ordered to pay £420 in costs and compensation.

He was made the subject of an indefinite restraining order banning him from visiting Village Lane, Washington.