Sunderland burglars jailed after being caught red-handed

Crown Court
Crown Court

Two burglars are behind bars after being caught red handed by a boss of the building they were raiding.

Stephen Cutter, 45, John Henderson, 48, and another raider triggered an alarm when they forced their way into H Jones & Son grocers on the Leechmere Industrial Estate in Sunderland in the early hours of May 15.

Newcastle Crown Court heard an owner at the firm was informed that the alarm had been activated and saw the three strangers still at the building when he arrived.

Prosecutor Paul Rowland told the court: "He immediately called the police and there was a verbal confrontation.

"All three men made off immediately, into a nearby cemetery. One was on a bike.

"He followed them and managed to flag down a passing police vehicle. He pointed out the two defendants before the court and as a consequence they were detained."

The court heard one of the men dumped a saw that had been stolen from the premises when the police approached.

Cutter, of Percival Street, Sunderland, and Henderson, of Hylton Road, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to burglary.

Both have a long criminal records.

The third raider has not been caught.

The court heard more than £1,000 damage was caused to the building by the break in.

Mr Recorder William Lowe QC sentenced both men to 16 months behind bars.

The judge told them: "I do not accept this was spontaneous, it seems to me there must have been a considerable degree of planning.

"There had been tools used to gain entry and the alarm, you thought, was disabled."

Matthew Crow, defending Cutter, said despite the chase, there was no evidence of trauma to the owner and that the raid was on "impulse".

Stuart Graham, defending Henderson, said the restaurant porter remembers very little about what happened due to drink and was "livid" with himself for getting involved.

Stephen Cutter

Stephen Cutter

John Henderson

John Henderson