Woman disturbed burglar in home

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A HOMEOWNER arrived home to find a burglar’s loot that he was going to steal stacked up in the front room.

The woman disturbed serial burglar Stephen Corner, 22, who had sneaked into her home while she was out.

Corner was getting ready to steal a video games system which he had unplugged and put on a sofa. But he ran off when the woman returned home in Lister Street, Hartlepool, on February 19.

Corner, of York Road, Hartlepool, was snared after cops found his finger print on the Nintendo Wii console. He was jailed for 876 days at Teesside Crown Court yesterday after he admitted burglary.

David Crook, prosecuting, said the victim had gone out at around 5.30pm and returned a couple of hours later.

Mr Crook said: “She noticed that a Nintendo Wii games console had been removed from a cabinet and placed on a sofa along with controllers apparently stacked up and ready to be taken.

“The kitchen door was open and in the back yard a security measure, a piece of wood with barbed wire, had been ripped off. Nothing was actually taken it was clearly ready to go.”

Corner told police he fled when he was disturbed and planned to sell the computer to pay off a debt. He committed similar crimes in 2007 and 2008.

Martin Scarborough, mitigating, said the dad of one had secured a job with a cable firm and wanted to be around to support his ex-partner who was going through a difficult time.

Judge Howard Crowson said he could not step back from the sentencing guidelines that means repeat burglars are jailed for a minimum of three years.

But he reduced the length by one fifth for Corner’s early guilty plea.