Watch raider caught wearing Marigold gloves and holding torch in mouth video himself making 'citizen's arrest'

A serial raider caught wearing Marigold gloves and holding a torch in his mouth told police he was in a ransacked building to make a "citizen's arrest" of the real burglar.

By Karon Kelly
Tuesday, 26 March, 2019, 15:47

Damian Foster was caught by officers inside the Dairy Lane dental practice, in Houghton, in the early hours of the morning but explained he was there to do a "good thing".

The 29-year-old raider had even videoed himself on his mobile phone, to capture footage of him entering the premises in October 2017, repeatedly shouting "citizen's arrest".

Damian Foster was found in the cellar of The Isis pub in Sunderland city centre.

Foster, of no fixed address, later admitted burglary on the basis the building had already been entered and searched by other criminals, but he would have stolen anything he found of value while he was in there.

The bizarre footage from Foster's phone has been played at Newcastle Crown Court.

Prosecutor Claire Anderson told the court police had noticed lights on in the building and found Foster, who was on a suspended sentence order for previous commercial burglaries, with a torch in his mouth, behind the reception desk.

Miss Anderson said: "He was wearing Marigold gloves and said 'I was trying to make a citizen's arrest".

Damian Foster

The court heard electrical property belonging to the practice had been put in bags and rooms had been subjected to untidy searches.

Prosecutors accepted Foster may not be the only person to have entered the building illegally and cannot prove who ransacked it.

Miss Anderson added: "He stated he was trying to do a good thing because he has done bad things in the past.

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"He said he just happened to be walking past and went in to make a citizen's arrest.

"He put gloves on because he was worried if prints were found it would make it look like he was in on the burglary."

While on bail for the raid, Foster raided the cellar of a pub in Sunderland city centre.

The manager of the Isis bar, which was open at the time, had been about to enter the cellar area on December 27 last year when he heard someone talking, when nobody should have been down there.

Miss Anderson said: "He left and sat against the cellar door to prevent anyone leaving.

"Police arrived a short time later, entered the cellar and found the defendant."

Foster, who admitted burglary, told police he was homeless and had gone in to the cellar to sleep, although over £6,000 in cash from two safes was strewn around the floor and pushed through gaps of a boarded-up exit.

Judge Julie Clemitson sentenced Foster, who has been in custody since December, to 16 months behind bars, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements and a £1 fine.

The judge said the sentence could be suspended as Foster has "strong personal mitigation and mental health issues".

Judge Clemitson said Foster cannot be held responsible for the ransacking at the dental surgery and told him: "You were caught in the act, with a torch in your mouth, searching for items you could take, having taken advantage of the opportunity once you were inside."

Shaun Routledge, defending, said Foster has suffered family tragedy and added: "He had homelessness and financial difficulties, along with unstable mental health."