Burglar avoids jail after court is told he was 'useless' at keeping lookout
A drunk teenager who acted as lookout during a "smash and grab" burglary has kept his freedom.
Dylan Brown kept watch while his pal, who was a serial house burglar, helped himself to £70 in cash and a speaker worth £15, by reaching in through the window of a family home in Sunderland.
The pair had been caught on cctv looking "heavily intoxicated, struggling to stand and struggling to walk" before they targeted the house last August.
Newcastle Crown Court heard a child-proof lock was forced to allow Brown's accomplice to reach in through the window, which cost £100 to repair, and help himself to what he could get.
Prosecutor Liam O'Brien told the court: "This wasn't a case where the was any significant trapesing through the property checking every room to find things to steal.
"It appears to be a relatively opportunistic smash and grab."The court heard the couple who lived at the house were left "upset and angry".
Brown, 19, of The Esplanade West, Sunderland, admitted burglary.
His co-accused was dealt with at a separate hearing and was sentenced to two years and five months in jail under the 'three strikes' rule due to his previous convictions for burglaries.
Judge Edward Bindloss told Brown: "Dwelling house burglaries are always serious because of the affect it has on the people who live in the homes."
But the judge said Brown had a limited role, is not an experienced offender, was 18 at the time and has mental health problems.
Judge Bindloss sentenced Brown to a community order for 12 months with rehabilitation requirements.
Alec Burns, defending, told the court: "He's the lookout, he effectively sits in the street.
"He's a useless lookout, he wonders off several times."
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