16 weeks’ jail term for burglar

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A BURGLAR has been jailed after being caught red-handed by two undercover cops.

Hartlepool crook David Morris – who has 27 convictions to his name – was with an accomplice when he sneaked into the Car Tech compound, on the Usworth Road Industrial Estate, in the early hours of the morning.

The 30-year-old selected £3,000 worth of goods including eight vehicle alternators, one Lotus assembly, one intercooler, a Porche wheel spacer and two radiators.

But when he tried to make his getaway over a six-foot fence he was arrested by plain-clothed police officers who had been lying in wait for him after hearing noises coming from inside the premises.

Prosecuting, Lilian Atkinson told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court on Monday: “It was 3.20am and plain-clothed officers on foot patrol heard banging coming from a compound named Car Tech, in the Usworth Road Industrial Estate, which was closed at the time.

“The compound was surrounded by a six-foot metal fence and all entrances were locked and secured. The officers stayed and watched the location when two men appeared and started throwing items over the fence onto the outside.

“The second man collected some of the items into a holdall. He was then arrested and found to be in possession of the parts.”

She added: “The officers found more car parts ready to be taken away. The property had been removed from a secure storage compound on the grounds of the company. The property was taken back to the owners so all items were recovered.”

Morris, of Jutland Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to burglary of a steel compound on July 9.

Mitigating, Neil Taylor said: “David Morris accepts his involvement in this particular incident.

“The goods have been returned, it was a commercial burglary and there are no aggravating features whatsoever.”

He added: “He’s a young man with a lot of difficulties who would benefit from working with the Probation Service. Firstly for a drug problem, which is something that doesn’t disappear overnight, and possibly to get him into some type of employment.”

Chairman of the bench Kevin Armstrong, however, jailed Morris for 16 weeks, saying: “This offence is so serious that no other sentence would be appropriate.”