Hartlepool burglar almost died after taking pills suspected stolen from stroke victim

A burglar nearly died when he took tablets suspected to have been stolen from a stroke victim.

Thursday, 28th November 2019, 1:34 pm
Updated Friday, 29th November 2019, 11:00 am

Neville Holdsworth, 36, was unconscious and frothing at the mouth when a woman found him on her doorstep in Hartlepool.

She called an ambulance and he was rushed to hospital where he was put on a life support system, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Police found the medication on him and a set of keys which had been stolen in the burglary late that night on October 1 from the stroke victim’s home in Station Road, Hartlepool.

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Neville F Holdsworth

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh said that the man, who struggled with his mobility, was asleep in bed when he was wakened by a noise and he came face-to-face with Holdsworth who said: “I’m in the wrong house pal.”

The man responded: “You lying bastard. You’re ******* robbing us”.

Holdsworth left the house leaving his jacket behind and he was found unconscious by a woman on her doorstep a short distance away at 11pm.

Miss Haigh added: “The defendant had taken some substance, possibly the medication belonging to the injured party.

”He was frothing at the mouth and extremely unwell.

“She called an ambulance and the keys and other property were found on him.”

She said that Holdsworth had many convictions for burglary. He was released on June 22 from a four year jail sentence for two previous burglaries as a repeat third-strike burglar.

After his latest arrest he was recalled to prison until June 2021 for breaching his release licence.

Paul Green, defending, said: “I have to accept that it was a nighttime burglary, and the only mitigation to this matter is the guilty plea.

”He ended up on a life-support system. It has given him a shock in relation to his own health.”

He said that Holdsworth had made good progress back in prison.

He added: ”He understands that he needs to work on how he retains his progress when he is released.”

Judge Deborah Sherwin told Holdsworth: “You are more than a third-strike burglar as your previous convictions indicate.”

Holdsworth, of no fixed address, who appeared over a video link from Durham Prison, was jailed for 40 months after he pleaded guilty to the burglary and the theft of fizzy drink from Sainsbury’s on Station Road earlier the same day.