Armed raiders who targeted club face years in jail

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TWO armed men who broke into a social club to steal drink are facing years in prison.

Ricky Burdess and John Malcolm were warned by a judge to expect substantial sentences for the aggravated burglary of the Catholic Club in Grampian Way, Peterlee.

Durham Crown Court heard the two men were spotted on the club’s CCTV smashing an outside window of the premises, near the smoking area.

“Once inside they collected bottles from the bar of the concert room,” said Paul Abrahams, prosecuting.

“As they leave, they are seen to drop several of the bottles, which break as they hit the ground.

“A police officer who viewed the CCTV footage was able to identify Burdess and Malcolm.”

The court was told Malcolm was seen to be carrying an imitation firearm.

Malcolm, 31, of Judd Place, Peterlee, admitted aggravated burglary.

Burdess, 24, of Pentland Place, Peterlee, admitted burglary, but denied aggravated burglary.

“The Crown say this was a joint enterprise,” Mr Abrahams told the jury. “They were in joint possession of the imitation firearm.

“Mr Burdess may not have held the firearm, but was close to Mr Malcolm during this offence and must have known he had the firearm.”

The jury convicted Burdess of aggravated burglary.

Martin Scarborough, defending, asked for a probation report before Burdess is sentenced.

Judge Robert Adams ordered the report.

The judge told Burdess: “It is inevitable this will be a sentence of some length.

“Knowing more about your background may help me determine the length of that sentence.”

Burdess was remanded in custody and will be sentenced with Malcolm on a date to be fixed.