Drunk South Tyneside man smashes window of stranger's house thinking it is his friend's home

A drunken man frightened a householder he “didn’t know from Adam” in a case of early hours booze-fuelled mistaken identity, a court heard.

Friday, 3rd July 2020, 12:24 pm

Sozzled Alan Clarke, 45, of East Shore, Whitburn Bents Road, Whitburn, caused £400 of damage when he tried to get into James Broomfield’s home, believing it was a pal’s property.

He used rocks he had found outside to bash the door – and then warned his shocked and fearful victim he would burgle his property.

Jobless Clarke turned up at Mr Broomfield’s Sunderland abode at around 2.30am on Friday, May 29, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told.

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The case was dealt with in South Shields at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “It’s rather peculiar behaviour, because he picks up two rocks and bangs on the door using the rocks, causing damage.

“The complainant didn’t know him from Adam. The glass pane of the door is smashed.

“He then makes some comment about coming back and burgling his house. He appears to be in a state of some intoxication.

“The defendant then wanders off in the direction of Morrisons. The police are called, and they find him near Morrisons. The defendant has a lengthy record.”

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Broomfield said: “I was concerned that at one point he may also attack me.”

Jason Smith, defending, told the court that Clarke, who was not present for the hearing but pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage of less than £5,000, “fully accepts” his crime.

He added: “He was very drunk, and he says that he was trying to get into his friend’s address and had the totally wrong house. He didn’t know that until the man came out.”

Mr Smith admitted his client was currently subject to a post sentence supervision order, imposed for a previous offence, whose terms he was complying with.

He added: “He is 100 per cent compliant, he is doing well.”

Magistrates ordered Clarke to pay Mr Broomfield £400 compensation and £85 in court costs.

Dorothy Gibson, chair of the bench, said she was sure Mr Smith would tell his client of his financial punishment and commitment to pay.

If Clarke did not pay up, she said she would “see him back in court”.

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