Burglar made hole to go in through roof

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A BURGLAR ripped a “gaping” hole in the roof of a hair salon to get his hands on a cash box.

William David Sowerby ripped the tiles from the roof and lowered himself down into the hair salon, in Raby Road, Hartlepool, where he took almost £300 from a jar and stole a money box.

The 44-year-old fled the scene but held his hands up to his wrongdoing when he was arrested by police for burglary of a garden shed, from which he stole a Flymo lawnmower.

Prosecuting, Lynne Dalton told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court said: “When Sowerby was arrested for the burglary, in police interview he admitted a further offence of burglary at a hairdressers in Raby Road.

“He said he approached the premises while it was shut and removed the roof tiles in order to climb in. Once inside, £300 from a jar and a money box was taken.”

She added: “He said he climbed onto the roof, caused a gaping hole on the roof, and climbed inside.”

Sowerby, of The Front, Seaton Carew, pleaded guilty to the hairdressers’ burglary between June 9 and 12, and also admitted the burglary of the shed in Middleton Road on July 10, which he committed with town man Norman Gary Hanley.

Hanley, of Rodney Street, Hartlepool, also pleaded guilty to burgling the shed and stealing the grass-cutter from inside.

Mrs Dalton said: “It was shortly before 1.30am when police were called to Middleton Road to reports of two males breaking into a shed and making off.

“Officers conducted an area search and intelligence led them to Turnbull Street, in the Dyke House area, 600ft away.”

The court heard that the occupant of the house allowed police inside where they found Hanley “sweating profusely” and wearing clothing matching descriptions given. Officers also discovered the lawnmower in a cupboard, which was later returned to the owner.

Sowerby was found in Church Street, again wearing clothing matching descriptions given to police.

Neil Taylor, mitigating for Sowerby, said: “He’s admitted the burglary at the hairdressers when there was no evidence. I don’t think the police had any idea it was Sowerby and he’s made full and frank admissions. He’s clearly eligible for maximum credit for that.”

John Relton, who represented Hanley said his client was homeless but his offending was “by no means prolific”.

“He committed the burglary of the shed for his own reasons”, said Mr Relton.

“All he can do is plead guilty before you today and he has.”

Chairman of the bench Christine Mulgrew sent Sowerby to prison for 16 weeks due to him being on licence at the time of the offences.

She sentenced Hanley to a 12-month community order with supervision and ordered him to pay £50 costs.