'Shameless' Sunderland burglar caught after leaving blood-stained tissue behind

A burglar who left a blood-stained tissue at the scene of the crime has admitted ransacking a further education centre in Sunderland.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 4:35 pm

Thirty-year-old Anthony Kirtley caused thousands of pounds of damage as he smashed his way into Learning Curve Group’s construction academy, trashing a number of rooms and pulling CCTV cameras from the ceiling.

The night of destruction meant the training provider had to cancel students’ classes and close its doors for three days.

During his rampage, Kirtley snatched several laptops, computer monitors and power tools worth about £5,500 and caused a further £3,500 worth of damage inside the Pallion Industrial Estate premises.

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Anthony Kirtley, left, was tracked down after a blood-stained tissue was left at the scene of the crime.
Anthony Kirtley, left, was tracked down after a blood-stained tissue was left at the scene of the crime.

But in his haste, the burglar left behind a blood-stained tissue and a cupboard door, which he had ripped from its hinges, smeared with his DNA.

The incident happened on August 12, 2019,

Kirtley, of Cossack Terrace, Sunderland, admitted burglary at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Friday, January 10.

Pc Sophie Harkness, of Northumbria Police, condemned the burglar’s behaviour – and hopes that his conviction provides some comfort to those affected by his crimes.

Damage caused to Learning Curve Group’s construction academy.

She said: “This was an inexcusable crime which resulted in a huge amount of damage and inconvenience to many people.

“Kirtley showed a total disregard for the community where he lives as he smashed his way into the centre which is used by students to better themselves by learning new skills and gaining qualifications.”

She added: As a result of his selfish and reckless actions, he deprived others of key educational materials and a number of scheduled sessions had to be cancelled due to the extent of the damage.

“In his haste to escape detection after getting his hands on an array of stolen property, he left a number of clues behind at the scene which ensured we identified him as the culprit and turned up at his door.”

The cupboard door, right, was smeared with his DNA.

While in court, Kirtley also admitted a separate burglary in relation to an incident at at a flat on Lyndhurst Terrace on August 6 last year, as well as possessing a quantity of cannabis.

He will be sentenced on Wednesday, February 5.