South Shields woman returns home to find a burglar wearing her clothes

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A woman returned home to find a burglar had “made himself at home” and was wearing her clothes.

Karl Green was sitting on a chair in the victim’s living room when she arrived back in the early hours of April 5, 2021.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Green, who she knew, had already visited her home, in South Shields, twice earlier in the evening, while she was in, and had been asked to leave, which he did.

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But prosecutor Shada Mellor told the court that the victim then went out and left her home secured.

Miss Mellor said: “She returned home and she was intending to enter through the back door, which leads to her kitchen.

Newcastle Crown Court. Newcastle Crown Court.
Newcastle Crown Court.

“As she approached, the lights were on and the rear kitchen window was open, she believed neither to be the case when she left.

“As she entered, she shouted ‘who is in my house, it better not be you’. The defendant replied ‘it’s me’.

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“She went into the living room and the defendant was sitting in a chair, wearing some of her clothing.

“She shouted at the defendant ‘how dare you break into my house and wear my stuff’. He replied he hadn’t broken in and said ‘I just came in because I was cold, I’ve got nowhere to go’.”

The court heard Green returned the victim’s items of clothing before he left and it was only after he had gone that she realised some tools were missing and contacted the police.

Green, 47, of Whitehead Street, South Shields, admitted burglary.

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Vic Laffey, defending, said: “It was a odd burglary. He was desperate at the time.”

Mr Laffey said Green’s life has “improved dramatically” since the offence and he has family responsibilities.

Miss Recorder Olivia Checa-Dover sentenced Green to 16 months, suspended for 18 months, with drug rehabilitation requirements.

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The judge told him the burglary must have been “unnerving” for the victim and added: “She found you had made yourself at home but it wasn’t your home, it was hers.

“It would have been stressful indeed for her, she’s entitled to say who can and can’t come in.”

The judge added: “There is a real chance you can be rehabilitated.”

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