Hartlepool pair go on drunken wrecking spree after breaking into Middleton Grange shopping centre on way home from pub

Two Hartlepool men who went on a drunken rampage through a shopping centre have been spared jail.

Monday, 25th November 2019, 8:00 am
Hartlepool pair go on drunken wrecking spree after breaking into Middleton Grange shopping centre on way home from pub

Paul Barnett and his nephew Nathan Barnett smashed a large window to get into the market area of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre and once inside they wreaked havoc at three of the businesses.

The pair, Paul, 39, and Nathan, 26, both of Throston Grange Lane, pleaded guilty to one charge of burglary with intent, three of burglary and one of criminal damage.

Nigel Soppitt, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court the incident happened at 11pm on July 30 and the cost of the smashed window was £500.

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He said the pair pulled the shutters off Bags Galore and grabbed the till, causing £350 worth of damage.

Mr Soppitt said: “They then went to Special Occasions. They pulled the till from the wall which contained about £100 and some stamps. An iPad was also stolen and that was never recovered.”

The third premises to be hit was The Gift Shop, where the shutters were forced and lighters stolen.

Mr Soppitt said: “The defendants were seen on CCTV exiting the broken window. They were struggling with the till at that time and were located and arrested.”

Martin Scarborough, defending Paul Barnett, said: “The problems he has had have been with alcohol.”

He said that day his client had borrowed money to pay his mother, but had spent it on drink.

He said: “They have come out of the pub intoxicated and on the spur of the moment have done this.

“He pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity. To his credit he has been to a local group in Hartlepool and is commencing work with them to reduce his alcohol and trying to get himself back into work.”

Stephen Constantine, defending Nathan Barnett, said his client’s drinking had put him in hospital earlier in the year.

He said: “He was told in no uncertain terms, continue with it and you will die. He doesn’t drink at all now.”

The pair were both given four month prison sentences, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £460 each in compensation.