Sunderland burglar ransacked woman's South Shields home and scrawled "frightening" graffiti above her bed

A brute who scrawled "frightening" graffiti above a woman's bed during a terrifying break-in at her home has been jailed.

Monday, 9th November 2020, 4:38 pm
Updated Monday, 9th November 2020, 4:38 pm

John Quinn "trashed" his victim's flat and left her fearing if she had returned home while he was there he "would have killed her".

Newcastle Crown Court heard the woman has been left "petrified" due to the raid, which happened at her home in South Shields on September 15.

Quinn, of Conyers Close, Castletown, Sunderland, who has convictions for 79 previous offences, admitted burglary.

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John Quinn

Judge Amanda Rippon sentenced the 32-year-old to two years and five months behind bars with a lifelong restraining order to keep him away from the victim.

The judge said: "The trauma to the victim was beyond the normal, inevitable, consequences (of burglary) because he has damaged her flat.

"He has written above her bed. Clearly his intention was to frighten her.

"She believed if she had gone home he would have killed her.

"There was soiling and ransacking."

Judge Rippon said Quinn had written "frightening things on her walls" and committed the offence during the Covid pandemic, which caused danger to the police and investigators, who "already put their lives at risk every day".

Prosecutor Helen Towers told the court the victim was left "petrified" and added: "She cannot believe he has done this to her and believed if she had returned to the property he would have killed her."

Vic Laffey, defending, said Quinn, who was drunk at the time of the offence, has a long standing alcohol problem.

Mr Laffey said prisoners face 23 hours per day in their cells due the coronavirus pandemic.

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