Drunken pair filmed trying to break into Sunderland restaurant to steal booze

Two revellers who attempted to break into a Sunderland restaurant in a bid to steal booze, alerted the owner to their crime through their noisy antics, a court has heard.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th January 2020, 10:07 am

Colin Dixon, 46, and Thomas Harmer, 49, both of The Elms, Ashbrooke, made so much banging that the boss of Casa Italia was able to film one of them on his mobile phone.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard police found both men close to the Green Terrace eatery, which they targeted at around 2am and 3.30am on Saturday, November 23.

Prosecutor Laura Lax said: “At about two o’clock in the morning, the owner of Casa Italia was upstairs when he heard two or three loud bangs coming from the restaurant downstairs.

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Colin Dixon, 46, and Thomas Harmer, 49, made so much noise on their second attempted restaurant break-in that the boss of Casa Italia was able to film one of them on his mobile phone.

“When he checked his CCTV, he saw two males were there who then made off towards Park Lane. He checked and found shattered glass.

“About twenty past three, he was standing near the rear exit when he heard two males, with one trying to gain access to get inside.

“He then called the police and filmed one male on his mobile phone. The second man picked up a brick and smashed a window.

“Mr Harmer admitted the offence and said he had had ten pints. He said that he had had too much to drink and wasn’t thinking straight.

“Mr Dixon also said that he had picked up a brick and had also attempted to steal alcohol. It’s an attempt and high culpability because they were acting as a group.”

Magistrates heard Harmer has three previous convictions from five offences and Dixon 15 convictions from 51 offences.

Dixon and Harmer, who defended themselves in court, both admitted a single charge of attempted burglary other than a dwelling.

Harmer told the court he was an alcoholic and that his “mind had taken over without thinking”.

And Dixon, who also admitted to having an alcohol problem, said: “It was to do with drink. I’d like to apologise, I’m sorry for my actions that night.”

Magistrates, who adjourned the case until Wednesday, January 29 for Probation Service reports, were told Dixon and Harmer had signed up for alcohol treatment with Wear Recovery.

Bail conditions which restrict the pair from entering Green Place, Park Lane and Vine Place were relaxed so they could attend specific appointments with the service.