Son hired locksmith to crack parents’ safe to pay off drug debts



A THIEVING son hired a locksmith so he could raid his parents’ safe and steal a four-figure sum to pay off drug debts.

Wayne Barnes, 29, used a locksmith to gain entry to a locked bedroom at the South Shields home of his mother and stepfather, where the cash was kept, before hiding the safe in the loft.

South Tyneside Magistrates Court heard that £3,465 in English and Turkish bank notes was taken during the raid on Wednesd.

Barnes pleaded guilty to burglary but on the basis he only took £1,300 in English notes.

However, magistrates felt the matter was so serious that their sentencing powers were not sufficient and sent the case to Newcastle Crown Court.

Barnes, of Westoe Road, South Shields, will appear before Newcastle Crown Court on April 7.

He also admitted the theft of an iPad belonging to his mother from the same address on March 11.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “The bedroom is kept locked and it is discovered that the lock has been opened.

“The safe from the bedroom is gone. There was money taken in sterling and in Turkish lira.

“Barnes was the only person who could’ve been in the bedroom.”

Barnes was arrested on the same day and admitted taking cash from the safe.

Mr Anderson added: “He got a locksmith to go the house and get him in the bedroom.

“There was an element of pre-planning to it.

“He said he used the cash to pay off a drug debt.”

“There is a breach of trust and an element of pre-panning by getting the locksmith out.”

Paul Kennedy, defending, said: “He had a drug debt of £1,500. He had been living at the property.

“He was told by those he owed money to that not only would he be given a hiding but his mother and stepfather and brother’s cars would be damaged.

“He knew there was money in the safe and the key to it was on top of the safe.

“He took a bundle of £50 and £20 notes.

“Effectively, this is a burglary from a part of the house where he is not entitled to go.

“He has been living there. It is a little different to going to a house he doesn’t know and doing the same thing.

“He is very remorseful for how it has ended up.”

Mr Kennedy said Barnes had also sold on the iPad to pay off the drug debt.

Alan Rhys, chair of the magistrates, said: “We feel there is an element of a breach of trust and an element of planning at work.

“We are going to commit you to the crown court for sentencing.

Barnes was granted bail until his hearing at Newcastle Crown Court.


Back to the top of the page