Sunderland killer back behind bars

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A KILLER jailed after he went out thieving as his victim lay dying is back behind bars for another raid.

Michael Burlinson was sentenced to four years in prison in 2001 for the manslaughter of his lifelong best friend Keith Warrener, 30.

Burlinson had knocked Mr Warrener unconscious in the street before moving him to a house in Roker, Sunderland, and putting him in front of a fire because he felt cold.

He then left his pal and burgled £2,500 worth of property from a nearby house.

By the time he got back, paramedics had been called and confirmed Mr Warrener had been dead for two hours.

Burlinson admitted manslaughter and burglary and was jailed for four years at Newcastle Crown Court in November that year.

The 38-year-old, of Kilsyth Square, Downhill, Sunderland, was back at the same court yesterday where he was jailed for three years over a £1,400 raid at a single mother’s house

He had targeted the property at Stranton Terrace, Roker, Sunderland, while the householder, who lived alone with her daughter, was away for the night.

When she got back the house was “ransacked”, leaving the woman’s daughter in tears.

Mr Recorder Julian Goose told him: “In a victim impact statement she describes herself as feeling sick and angry at those who entered her home.

“She describes her daughter being upset and crying.

“She has never been burgled before. She had no insurance so had to save up to replace what was taken.

“She finds it hard to provide for her daughter and feels angry someone just came and took these things.

“You will realise at some stage burglary causes real suffering to the occupants.”

Burlinson had admitted burglary at the house last October.

The raid was the third house break-in Burlinson had carried out after being released from the sentence in 2001.

Andrew Finlay, defending, said drugs lie at the heart of Burlinson’s offending, who cannot still come to terms with what he did to his friend.

Mr Finlay said: “He has struggled to come to terms with that.

“He has turned to drugs in order to cope with the feelings of guilt that have arisen from that.

“His problems are so big, despite the fact there has been a good deal of help, he has been unable to overcome them. “

Mr Finlay said Burlinson plans to undergo psychological work once he has beaten his drug addiction.