Thief who snatched designer watches and Apple MacBook in flat raid jailed for three years

A Sunderland burglar apprehended following a public appeal has been given a prison term of more than three years.

Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 1:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 2:17 pm
Ian Irwin.

Ian Irwin, 48, smashed his way into a flat on West Sunniside in the city on Tuesday, September 25, last year.

He broke a window and raided the premises, making off with a number of designer watches, an Apple MacBook and a laptop with a combined value of around £2,000.

Irwin smashed his way into the flat in West Sunniside.

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After a small sample of blood was discovered by forensic teams and later linked to Irwin, police issued a public appeal in November 2018 to locate the suspect who was believed to be sofa-surfing in the area.

As a result of the intelligence provided to officers within 24 hours of the appeal, police arrested Irwin and charged him in connection with the break-in.

He pleaded guilty to burglary at Newcastle Crown Court on December 21 last year and was jailed for more than three years earlier this month.

Detective Constable Graeme Joyce, of Northumbria Police, said: “This conviction was made possible thanks to the information that came from the public which allowed us to quickly locate Irwin and arrest him for his crimes.

“He will now spend the foreseeable future behind bars, and there can be no question that Sunderland is a safer city with this burglar in jail.

“Irwin is just one of a number of burglars who have recently been handed custodial sentences following crimes committed across Sunderland and South Tyneside, and we will be looking to maintain this momentum heading into the summer.

“Burglary is an offence that can have a lasting effect on victims and their families.

"As a result, we will continue to pursue offenders and ensure they have their day in court and are brought to justice for their selfish crimes.”

The court was also told that Irwin and another man were involved in a violent altercation on Norfolk Street in Sunderland, witnessed by an on-duty police officer on May 6, 2018

When confronted by the Pc, Irwin then held a glass bottle in a position ready to swing and attack.

He was subsequently apprehended and dropped the weapon.

Irwin was charged with a public order offence and possession of an offensive weapon, and admitted both offences at Newcastle Crown Court.

Irwin was sentenced to three years’ jail for the burglary at West Sunniside and an additional four months for the public order offence and possessing an offensive weapon.