South Shields man caught ‘looking through children’s play bags’ at Laygate Community School
A would-be thief was caught ‘looking through children’s play bags’ at a South Shields primary school.
Police officers spotted Paul Skidmore in the grounds of Laygate Community School on Wednesday and went to investigate, a court heard.
Skidmore, 38, of Beach Road, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court and was sentenced.
Groundskeeper left everything locked up
Prosecutor Glenda Beck said a groundskeeper at the school had been satisfied that everything was locked up that day before he went home.
“At 9.30pm he saw a number of police officers with the school grounds.
“They had a male handcuffed.”
The school is currently closed for the summer holidays so there was no risk of him Skidmore encountering children or school staff, the court heard.
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Police officers spot defendant in the school grounds
The court heard that police officers had been in the area responding to a previous incident, but had spotted Skidmore in the school grounds and gone to investigate.
The prosecutor added: “The defendant was in the grounds looking through what appeared to be children’s play bags.”
The court heard that Skidmore had been released from custody just a week before his arrest at the Laygate school.
His defence solicitor said that Skidmore needed help from probation in the community rather than being sent to prison.
Skidmore was given a 12 week jail sentence, suspended for a year.
He must also pay a victim surcharge of £122.