Hartlepool burglar claimed his own home had been broken into 'to put police off his scent', court told
A burglar who broke into the flat above his own claimed he had been broken into in a bid 'to put police off his scent'.
Eric Twidale hoped to put police off his scent by making the false allegation, but he was caught on CCTV, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Twidale was jailed for 10 months for what a judge described as a 'nasty and mean offence'.
"The defendant was living in a house in multiple occupancy in Murray Street in Hartlepool," said Rachel Masters, prosecuting.
"The flat above his was broken into, and a television and other items taken.
"The defendant told his landlord he had been broken into, which we say was an attempt to put police off his scent.
"CCTV of the premises was checked, and the defendant and his partner were seen going up to the flat above.
"The footage shows the defendant emerging from the upstairs flat with what looks to be a television wrapped in a duvet cover.
"His partner was dealt with by magistrates for handling stolen goods."
Twidale, 27, of Murray Street, Hartlepool, admitted burglary on March 16.
He has previous convictions for 41 offences.
Steve Reed, defending, said in mitigation: "Mr Twidale has indicated his remorse by pleading guilty.
"He suffers from depression, and there is a history of self harming.
"Mr Twidale was an alcoholic, but he managed to come off the drink.
"At the time of this offending he was taking drugs.
"He had been tackling that, and is on a reducing methadone script."
Judge Simon Bourne-Arton jailed Twidale for 10 months.
The judge told him: "This was a nasty and mean offence.
"It is unlikely your victim owned a great deal of property, and you took most of that from him.
"There was also an element of ransacking the premises.
"You have a bad record, although I note it is mostly for offences of violence rather than dishonesty."