Codeine cravings tempt addict to burgle Sunderland school

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DRIVEN by a craving for codeine, a burglar targeted a Sunderland school for the second time.

Daniel Jonathan Moan made off with two laptops and an iPad after smashing his way into St Paul’s Primary School in Ryhope.

But the 30-year-old set off burglar alarms, which alerted police.

Moan, of Hudson Road, Sunderland, was caught in a nearby street with the stolen electronics still in a rucksack.

Sarah Guest, prosecuting, told Sunderland magistrates that police were called to the school in Waterworks Road shortly before 1am on September 11.

Officers spotted Moan at the junction with Station Road carrying a rucksack “overflowing with items”.

He threw the rucksack to the ground and said: “I just needed some codeine to take the edge off.”

Police searched the bag and found Toshiba and Lenovo laptops and an Apple iPad.

Moan, who pleaded guilty to burglary, told police in interview that he had been restless and unable to sleep because his medication wasn’t working.

Mrs Guest added: “He had decided to go for a walk, seen the school and said he ‘saw pound signs’ because he had previously burgled the school.

“He climbed over the fence, found a brick and threw it at the window and that smashed.”

The court heard that Moan was serving a 12-week suspended sentence imposed by Newcastle Crown Court for assault and was fined in April for breaching the 24-month order.

He also appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court in 2011 for possession of heroin. Gerry Scott, mitigating, said Moan was “deeply ashamed” to find himself in court again.

“Four days before this crime was committed, he had come off methadone, after a two-year period of reduction.

“He was put on meds by his doctor to help with the symptoms of coming of methadone but they did not help.

“He went out not intending to commit this crime, but having seen the school and having decided he wanted some codeine to help him, he broke into the school to help him buy some meds to help him with the experience of coming off methadone.”

Chairman of the bench Vincent Lamb sent the case back to Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing telling him, it was a “serious offence”.

Moan was released with orders to live and sleep at his home address and obey a 9pm-8am curfew.