Sunderland burglar hit businesses in run-up to Christmas

William Trotter
William Trotter
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A serial burglar who raided two Sunderland businesses in the lead-up to Christmas has been spared jail.

William Trotter, 34, broke into Sherlock’s Hairdressers in Holmeside, Sunderland, on December 16 and then broke into a premises at the Place Business Centre, in Athenaeum Street, the following night.

Michael Bunch, prosecuting said: “The defendant was seen drinking in the Eazy Street Bar in Sunderland on December 15 by a lady who worked at the bar.

“At around 3.20am on December 16, the lady finished her shift and was walking down Holmeside when she saw the defendant with a woman outside Sherlock’s hairdressers.

“He was in the process of kicking a hole in the bottom of the glass door that he crawled through. The girl he was with told the lady not to worry about it.”

Newcastle Crown Court heard that staff at Sherlock’s saw the damage the next day and realised that products had also been stolen.

The court heard that the total amount in damage and goods that were stolen amounted to almost £900.

Police then attended the Eazy Street Bar carrying out inquiries and spoke to the lady ,who saw Trotter – enabling them to identify him.

Mr Bunch added: “On December 18 at the Place Business Centre staff arrived to see that a burglary had taken place.

“CCTV showed the defendant making his way into the premises and leaving with a large black object – it is unclear what this was but the tape shows he left with something.”

Trotter, of Drury Lane, Sunderland, was arrested on Christmas Eve. He pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary at a previous court hearing.

The court heard he had 42 convictions from a total of 82 offences on his record including dwelling burglary and was on license at the time of the two burglaries.

Mrs Ros Scott Bell, defending Trotter, said: “It is clear he has entrenched himself in this pattern of behaviour.He is frankly fed up of spending most of his adult life in prison and has almost back-to-back offences since 2010.

“He did get a job before the offences for five weeks as a delivery driver but was unfortunately made redundant. This caused him to start drinking again – these offences were then committed shortly thereafter.”

She added that Trotter was ashamed and embarrassed at what he did and he has since been offered a kitchen porter job, which he would be able to take up if released from custody.

Recorder William Lowe QC sentenced Trotter to an 18-month community order with a rehabilitation activity program for 60 days that he must complete within 18 months.

Trotter was also ordered to undertake a 20 day program that addresses his thinking skills.