Burglar stole laptops from friend’s home

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A BURGLAR stole two laptops during a break-in after taking the keys to his victim’s home during an earlier visit.

John Minchell had been a welcome visitor the house on “numerous occasions”, but crept back uninvited on November 26 last year and helped himself to the computers.

When the angry mother realised her home, in Reginald Street, Boldon Colliery, had been targeted, she spoke to a neighbour who said he had seen Minchell going inside that afternoon.

When confronted Minchell said: “Who is the grass? When I find out who it was, I am going to burn the house down.”

The 40-year-old pleaded guilty to burglary at Newcastle Crown Court.

Judge James Goss sentenced Minchell to 10 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision.

The judge told him: “This was clearly a planned burglary and an abuse of trust as well. It was a very mean thing of you to do, I don’t know what the real reason for it was.”

The court heard the victim got her laptops back after the police received a tip-off that they had been dumped in a lane.

Minchell, of Hathersage Gardens, South Shields, has no previous convictions for burglary.