Drunken Sunderland shed burglar was "barely capable of walking"

A bungling burglar who broke into two garden sheds in Sunderland was so druk he was “barely capable of walking,” a court heard.

By Gareth Crickmer
Monday, 25th July 2022, 11:01 am

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William Burlinson, 36, fell over after breaking into outhouses and pinching low value goods in Bardolph Drive, High Southwick.

Burlinson, of Okehampton Square, Carley Hill, was with another man who fled and was never apprehended, magistrates in South Tyneside heard.

Prosecutor Greg Flaxen revealed that Burlinson was caught with a lawnmower, a pot of paint and a pool mop on Thursday, June 30.

South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

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He said: “The witness will say that her property is in close proximity to one of the sheds.

“At around 12.30am she heard voices and looked over her fence and saw two men and one was pulling a lawn mower. She contacted the police.

“He was described as wearing a grey sweatshirt with a grey sweatshirt wrapped around his face and neck.

“He was possibly trying to hide his identity. Both sheds were prised open, and damage caused. In interview, he offered no reply.”

Burlinson pleaded guilty to two counts of non-dwelling burglary, with damage to the sheds being put at £50 and £70.

Magistrates heard his last similar offence was in 2013 but that he had been before the courts for a shop theft last year.

The lawnmower and paint were taken from one property and the mop from the other.

Ian Cassidy, defending, said Burlinson was considering a new start with his sister and mother in Canada.

Of his offences he added: “There were two people involved, one made off and we don’t know who that was.

“He was heavily intoxicated and was barely capable of walking. I’m not sure about attempting to hide his identity.

“He hasn’t covered his face or attempted to. He is seen falling over, he hits the fence and falls. He has no real recollection.

“He accepts that drink has been an issue. He has had a wake-up call with the alcohol.

“These offences are not high culpability, there’s no violence or threats.”

Magistrates ordered a low-level pre-sentence report and will sentence Burlinson at the same court on Tuesday, August 2.