A burglar with dozens of convictions on his record jailed after sneaking into Hartlepool woman's home

A man who embarked on a mini crime spree over six hours on the same day has been jailed.

Saturday, 7th September 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 7th September 2019, 9:41 am
Brian Normanton stole a bicycle, burgled a house, and fraudulently used a credit card in one day in July last year.

Brian Normanton stole a bicycle, burgled a house, and fraudulently used a credit card between 4pm and 10pm on a day in July last year.

The case took more than a year to come to court despite there being CCTV and DNA evidence, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh said all the offences happened in Hartlepool.

“The theft of the push bike happened outside a gym,” she added.

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“The victim had cycled there to use the facilities, and had left the bike locked outside for about two hours.“He found both the bike and the lock gone when he returned.”

Normanton burgled a detached house in Hartlepool later that day.

“The victim returned to the house with friends for a drinks party,” said Ms Haigh.

“She shut the front door, but left it unlocked, putting her handbag down in the hall.

“Later that evening, she and her friends were in the garden when they noticed someone outside the front of the house.

“He left when challenged, and was seen a short time later running down the street.

“The victim’s purse containing cash and bank cards had been taken.

“Two transactions at an off-licence were made using the card.”

“Normanton was eventually traced from CCTV in the off-licence, and from DNA on a set of keys he left at the house.”

Normanton, 38, of Cornwall Street, Hartlepool, admitted theft, burglary, and fraud, all on July 21 last year,

His 67 previous convictions include seven burglaries, making him eligible for a minimum three years in prison under the ‘three strikes’ legislation.

Rod Hunt, defending, said: “The delay in the case is not the fault of Mr Normanton.

“Since this offence there is every indication he has turned his life around, having not offended for a year.

“Mr Normanton’s partner was dying of an illness at the time, and he was drinking far too heavily. In recognition of his progress, the court could consider reducing the minimum prison term.”

Normanton was jailed for 876 days, which the Recorder of Middslebrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, said was three years less a statutory discount for pleading guilty.

The judge told Normanton: “The burglary was a mean and despicable offence, burglary always is.

“You have been a burglar since 1998.

“I accept you have largely turned your life around, but there is nothing exceptional about this case to persuade me to go beneath the minimum sentence,”