Burglar with 160 offences on his record broke into Southmoor Academy twice in two nights

A bungling burglar who left traces of his own blood near the scene of the crime has kept his freedom.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 5:49 pm
Southmoor Academy, Ryhope Road, Sunderland
Southmoor Academy, Ryhope Road, Sunderland

Mark Cooper was spotted by the caretaker when he broke into the Southmoor Academy school in Sunderland twice on consecutive nights last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the 42-year-old, who was with an accomplice, attempted to steal a bag of tools, some batteries, a charger as well as some duct tape but the tools were recovered when he was arrested.

Copper, who has 160 offences on his record, was spared jail after a Probation Service report said that he is ‘in a position where you are ready to try mend your ways’.

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Mr Recorder Mark Giuliani said: "You, together with [an accomplice], committed two burglaries of a school building that was being renovated.

"I'm not going to distinguish between the two of you in passing sentence on you.

"On each occasion you were observed by the caretaker and the police were called.

"As I understand it, the items you were trying to steal were left behind when you tried to evade capture which you did."

The court heard that Cooper left spots of blood near to the scene when he injured himself trying to get over a wall, but was later traced back to his DNA.

Cooper, of Victoria Place in Sunderland, has convictions on his record for 160 offences and admitted two charges of non-domestic burglary, on July 31 and August 1.

In his mitigation, the court heard that he had been making good progress with tackling his drug issues and he had already spent a period of time in custody.

Sentencing him to a 12 month community order, Mr Giuliani added: "There was clearly planning of this offending, however, by your early guilty plea you have shown remorse.

"As I have said you now have a pre-sentence report which mentions you are in a position where you are ready to try mend your ways and come off the drugs to which you were addicted."

Cooper was also made subject to ten days of rehabilitation requirement activities in addition to the community order.

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