Hartlepool garden raider in court after late-night theft

A Hartlepool man was found guilty of a late-night raid on a garden in the town.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 6:05 am
Teesside Magistrates' Court

Mark Stanley Harrison, 42, had denied a charge of theft, but was found guilty in his absence during a trial at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

Harrison, of the town’s Baden Street, could be seen on CCTV footage helping himself to items from a garden in Seaton Lane in March this year.

Ansab Shah, prosecuting, said a fan was taken from beside Kevin Bartle’s garden bin, however, several other items were taken from the side of the house.

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Mr Bartle told the court he had been asleep on the settee in his house at around 11.45pm when his dog woke him up barking.

He said: “I got myself up and went to the front door thinking someone had knocked, but I couldn’t see anyone.

“I looked to the left and saw two people standing around. One male asked ‘Are we ok with this fan?’ I said it was ok because it was going to the tip.

“He already had hold of it.”

Mr Bartle said he locked his front door, and when he went out into his rear garden to let the dog out, he could still hear the men hanging around and phoned the police.

On later investigation in the garden the homeowner found other items had been stolen including a pressure washer, trampoline net and a 25m hosepipe.

Mr Shah said when Harrison was arrested and interviewed, he told officers he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong as the items were out next to the bin.

However, Mr Shah said: “Mr Bartle said they were not next to the bin, they were down the side of the house.”

District Judge Helen Cousins said: “It’s very clear that Mr Harrison wandered into someone else’s garden, making himself at home. He takes items without making any effort to ask if they are abandoned.

“The items belonged to Mr Bartle and Mr Harrison had no authority to take them.”

She said she found him guilty to theft and issued a warrant for his arrest.