Police found home-ban man hiding in loft during raid

Mark Fletcher hid under the loft insulation in his girlfriend's house.
Mark Fletcher hid under the loft insulation in his girlfriend's house.

A boyfriend who was banned from his girlfriend’s home after it became a hub of anti-social behaviour was found hiding under insulation in her loft by police.

Mark Fletcher was forbidden from going to his partner’s house after it was made subject to a closure order, meaning only her and her parents were allowed in.

The order had been imposed at the address in Hebburn due to persistent disorder but, when police went there last November, they found Fletcher hiding under fibreglass insulation in the loft.

The 31-year-old, who was on a suspended sentence at the time, was convicted of breaching the closure order and admitted a separate theft, but has been spared jail at Newcastle Crown Court.

The court heard the closure order was made by magistrates in South Tyneside on October 21 last year, in respect of a house on Bicester Grove, Hebburn.

Prosecuter Michael Bunch said “Police received a call suggesting there was a male in the address in breach of the order, and attended and spoke to the defendant’s partner, who told them nobody was in the address in breach of the order.

“However the officers found the defendant in the loft, hiding under fibre glass insulation.”

Fletcher denied breaching the closure order but was convicted after a trial in front of magistrates.

He pleaded guilty to a separate offence of theft, in which he stole a rucksack from a property in Gateshead on January 16 this year.

Fletcher, of Rodsley Avenue, Gateshead, was already on a suspended prison sentence imposed last September for criminal damage and possessing an offensive weapon.

Miss Recorder Sarah Mallett extended his supervision on the suspended sentence and imposed a community order with 200 hours unpaid work.

Rachel Hedworth, defending, said: “The police came and he panicked and went in the loft. They have been in a relationship on and off for 18 years.”

Miss Hedworth said the couple are now living together at another address in Hebburn.