Suspended sentence for South Shields burglar and thief

A shed burglar and shop thief who was identified by police when he was caught on CCTV, later tried to steal three security cameras.
Christopher Robertson appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.Christopher Robertson appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
Christopher Robertson appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Christopher Robertson, 37, targeted two outbuildings and a Lidl store in South Shields.

He was arrested after being caught on a nearby householder’s CCTV system, South Northumbria Magistrates’ Court heard.

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Angela Narey, prosecuting, told the court: “Police received a report of someone hanging around a brick workshop in Central Gardens.

“When they arrived, the officers found the door of the workshop had been forced.

“Robertson was found later wearing gloves, and carrying a screwdriver.

“He also had on him a torch taken from the workshop.”

The court heard the owner of a house in Wood Terrace, South Shields, returned to his home on Christmas Day to find a child’s scooter was not where he had left it in the back yard.

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Ms Narey added: “On further investigation the householder found the roof of a shed had been partially lifted off in an unsuccessful attempt to enter it.

“CCTV footage of the area showed two men in the back yard at about 4pm on Christmas Eve.

“A police officer viewed the footage.

“He was able to identify one of the men as this defendant.”

The court heard Robertson also attempted to steal three CCTV cameras from the Lidl store in South Shields, but was stopped by security guards as he tried to leave with the cameras in a Nike bag.

Robertson, of Cook Close, South Shields, admitted attempted burglary on December 24, burglary on December 29, both last year, and he theft on February 23, this year.

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He also admitted driving an Audi A6 in Jarrow without insurance on December 23, last year.

Charlton Carr, defending, said: “Mr Robertson has made timely guilty pleas to all these offences.

“His difficulty is with substance abuse.

“The offences are carried out in desperation to get money to feed his habit.

“If we can get him off the drugs, hopefully the offending will stop.”

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Robertson was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, including a drug treatement programme of nine months, a curfew of four weeks, and 20 rehabilitation activity days.

He was disqualified from driving for six months, and ordered to pay £115 costs.

The court heard police confiscated the Audi, and it has since been crushed.