Hartlepool burglar caught red-handed claimed he lived in home he ransacked

Teesside Crown Court.
Teesside Crown Court.

A burglar who was caught red-handed by police as he ransacked a Hartlepool home claimed ‘I live here’.

In fact, Darren Kinsella,32, lived two doors away on the terraced street.

But now, his address is Holme House Prison in Stockton after he was jailed for 16 months.

Prosecutor Emma Atkinson told Teesside Crown Court that another neighbour called police when she saw him walking off with a TV set while the owner was at work, on October 7.

When officers arrived they saw a smashed upstairs window and heard the sound of someone inside walking on broken glass.

They had to break down a door to get inside and they found Kinsella hiding in a bedroom.

The bed had been dismantled and the mattress had been taken off, and Kinsella became aggressive and he said “It’s my address”.

The TV and a mountain bike which he had stolen from the Hartlepool house were found at his home two doors away.

But Kinsella insisted that the 27-year-old owner owed him £300 and had told him to go in and take the goods in payment.

The man denied the claim and he said that he did not know him.

When Kinsella was searched he had a knife in a sheath which he had stolen from the kitchen strapped to his leg.

The owner said in a victim impact statement, which was read out in court: “The fact that he has turned my house upside down makes me sick and I will be looking for somewhere else as a result of this burglary.”

Miss Atkinson said that Kinsella had 11 convictions for 17 offences, but nothing for 10 years and none previously for burglary.

She said: “The Crown say that the aggravating feature is the damage done to the property which would make it a Category One offence with a starting point of two years.”

Andrew Teate, defending, said that Kinsella had been using heroin since he was 13, was excluded from school at 14, and he had joined his father working at sea for four years.

He was currently on a Methadone drug reduction course and he and his long-term partner had six children who had been removed from home.

He was under the influence of drugs when he committed the burglary which was a disappointment to himself.

Mr Teate told the judge: “He is terrified of the consequences of his actions.

“He has written a letter to Your Honour expressing his remorse to the victim and to himself and how he has let down his family and himself.”

Judge Simon Phillips QC told him: “The offence is too serious in my view to suspend the sentence, I have in mind the ransacking of the property.”

Kinsella, of Furness Street, Hartlepool, was jailed for 16 months after he pleaded guilty to burglary.