Man burgled friend’s house after losing out on business deal

South Tyneside Magistrates' Court
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court

A man burgled the home of a friend after a business deal between them turned sour.

Glen Smith, 26, waited until his friend went out before breaking into his house by cutting a hole in a rear door.

Magistrates in South Shields were told that when police later called at Smith’s home to arrest him they also found a cannabis farm in two of his bedrooms.

Lee Poppett, prosecuting, told South Tyneside Magistrates that the goods taken were valued at £1,500.

Smith, of Winskell Road, South Shields, admitted burglary on December 11 last year, and producing a class B drug on January 4 this year.

Mr Poppett said: “The victim in this case had gone out for the evening.

“When he returned he found he had been burgled.

“A hole had been cut in a pvc door with, the victim thinks, his own hacksaw.”

He added: “Among the items taken were five electric guitars, vinyl records, and a laptop.

“The victim valued the stolen items at £1,500.”

The court also heard DNA taken from blood left on the cut door had been matched to Smith.

Mr Poppett added: “When officers searched his house they found most of the stolen property.

“Items valued at about £400 are still missing.

“Also found in the house was a working cannabis farm in two upstairs rooms.

“There were 19 plants, high intensity lights, watering equipment, compost, and other cannabis-growing paraphernalia.

“Smith made no comment about both alleged offences when he was interviewed by police.

“The victim said later he was pleased most of his property had been recovered, and it helped put his mind at rest.”

Lisa Callum, defending, said: “This was not a random burglary. The pair had a business relationship which went sour.

“They had a disagreement, leaving Mr Smith out of pocket.

“He says he only took the cash value of what he was owed.

“He doesn’t accept taking the games console at all.

“The cannabis farm was not a great business enterprise, rather it was based on information he had gathered from YouTube.

“Mr Smith has a good job on the line at Nissan, where he is being trained for promotion.”

The magistrates sent the case to Newcastle Crown Court to be sentenced on February 21.

Smith was bailed on condition he keeps out of North Road, Boldon Colliery.