Hartlepool couple lock themselves in room while drug users smashed their way in and raided home

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A drug user smashed his way into an innocent couple’s home at night causing them to lock themselves in a room.

Craig Short, 35, and an unidentified accomplice threw a brick to break into the victim’s house after turning up at their front door in West View Road, Hartlepool.

The couple were asleep in bed when the woman was awoken by banging on March 20. The hooded pair initially claimed to be the police when she asked who they were.

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When they then demanded to see a person the householders had never heard of, they locked themselves and their dogs in a room and called the police.

Craig Short an an accomplice raided an unsuspecting couple's Hartlepool home looking for drugs.Craig Short an an accomplice raided an unsuspecting couple's Hartlepool home looking for drugs.
Craig Short an an accomplice raided an unsuspecting couple's Hartlepool home looking for drugs.

Cole Cockburn, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court: “Within moments of doing so she heard smashing and watched as the males fled her address. One of them was carrying a white bag.

"On inspection she found a brick on the stairs and observed the window of the front door had been smashed.”

Muddy footprints led into the house and a bag that contained a camera drone intended as a present for a relative, together with some vapes, was missing.

Blood left smeared on the front door matched that of Short.

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Mr Cockburn added: “In interview he admitted the burglary and said he was motivated by a belief there were drugs inside the property.”

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Several weeks later, he was arrested when an off duty detective recognised him in Hartlepool’s Morrison’s supermarket on May 1.

Short, of Taunton Grove, Hartlepool, had a small lock knife on him that he said he had just found in the street, and non-prescription drugs.

He pleaded guilty to burglary, possession of a blade in public and possession of class C drugs.

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Stephen Constantine, mitigating, said Short had struggled with longstanding drug and mental health difficulties, but is finally motivated to succeed.

Mr Constantine said: “He committed this offence simply out of utter desperation.”

He added the burglary was out of character and Short regretted it.

Jailing him for two years, Recorder Fiona Davies said: “If you can finally keep yourself away from drugs then much in your life may improve.”

But she added: “Only a custodial sentence is possible given the serious two offences and your record.”