A BURGLAR who removed – then replaced – his neighbour’s window to carry out a raid has been spared jail.
Paul Thompson stole hundreds of pounds-worth of property after breaking into Patrick Malloy’s home through his kitchen window on April 10.
Newcastle Crown Court heard yesterday that 40-year-old Thompson had removed the entire double-glazed frame to get into the flat in Buxton Close, Jarrow, which was directly below where he lived.
Thompson then helped himself to property including a television, laptop computer, vacuum cleaner, and records, which were all later found in his home upstairs.
Neil Pallister, prosecuting, told the court: “It turned out the whole of the double-glazed window unit had been removed by the burglar, the burglary committed and then the unit replaced after the burglary.
“A neighbour had seen the defendant banging at the window of the flat, and she thought he was simply putting a window in.
“She noticed a microwave was on the ground.
“He must have been aware his neighbour had been away.
“It was a deliberate targeting, perhaps with a significant degree of planning, since the whole of the double-glazed window unit was removed and then replaced.”
Mr Malloy told police just after the raid in April: “I am still recovering from the death of my father six weeks ago.
“I am shocked anyone can do this to me.
“I have been ill lately, which is why I have been staying with my girlfriend.”
Thompson admitted burglary.
The court heard that Mr Malloy had rowed with Thompson’s mother in the days leading up to the raid.
John Wilkinson, defending, said Thompson had an offer of work and was “disgusted and ashamed” at what he did.
Mr Recorder Philip Kramer sentenced Thompson to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with supervision.
At the end of the hearing, Thompson said: “You won’t see me before the court again.”