Drunken Sunderland shed burglar caught after falling on face in front of police

A drunken Sunderland shed burglar must pay for his crimes – the price of a mop and more.

Magistrates ordered William Burlinson, 36, to compensate two householders whose outhouses in Bardolph Drive, High Southwick, he targeted.

Burlinson, of Okehampton Square, Carley Hill, was told he owes one £50 for a pool mop pinched during his raid on Thursday, June 30.

And both victims will receive £50 from him to fund repairs to the doors of sheds damaged by being levered open.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard Burlinson was so drunk he tripped and fell flat on his face when confronted by police at the scene.

He was seen pulling a stolen lawnmower and carrying a pinched pot of paint by a witness neighbours – and was nabbed red-handed while his accomplice fled.

Prosecutor Clare Irving said: “The defendant and another male, who has never been identified, were seen at the back of a property in Bardolph Drive.

“Witnesses heard loud voices over a fence and the men were spotted near the shed.

“One was seen pulling a lawnmower behind him. The male with the lawnmower was held by the police.

“He had a lawnmower and a pot of paint and information was relayed that the items had been taken from a property.

“There was other information that another item, a pool mop, had been taken and not recovered.”

The court heard Burlinson, who pleaded guilty to two counts of non-dwelling burglary at an earlier hearing, has 33 previous convictions.

Twenty-five are for dishonesty and the last, in January 2021, for shop theft.

Ian Cassidy, defending, said: “There was some dispute about culpability as another male was involved.

“He was extremely intoxicated. There’s footage of him falling over and landing on his face.

“I can only assume that the mop that’s missing was in the possession of the other male.

“They were wooden sheds which were jemmied open. Mr Burlinson accepts responsibility. I think alcohol is the root of the offending.”

Alongside compensation, Burlinson was fined £25 and must pay a £114 victim surcharge.

Magistrates also handed him a nine-month community order, with 15 rehabilitation days.