Hartlepool walk-in burglar jailed after sneak theft from home of retired police control room worker

A retired police worker was left feeling upset and angry after being the victim of a walk-in burglary.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 4:45 pm

Crook Paul Power, 41, entered the victim’s home near Hartlepool Marina and stole a woman’s handbag from the hall while she was sitting unaware in the room next door.

The victim said she is usually very security conscious having previously worked in the police control room and been married to a police officer for many years.

In a statement read in court she said: “I have taken calls from many people over the years reporting a burglary and although you do sympathise with them, until now I have never realised just how upsetting it could be.”

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Paul Power has been jailed for two years and eight months for a walk-in burglary near Hartlepool marina.

After stealing the woman’s handbag Power then used her bank card three times to buy £70 worth of goods in two Headland convenience stores the same day.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, at Teesside Crown Court, said: “The victim received a series of alerts from her bank saying her bank card had been used in quick succession to make a series of purchases.”

Police identified Power from CCTV inside one of the stores and arrested him.

He told them he had been for a walk on the Headland because he was a keen bird watcher.

But he later confessed to two counts of fraud by false representation and burglary, claiming another person was also involved.

The victim also said in her statement: “I have stopped crying about what has happened but I still feel upset by this incident.”

She added she and her son who had been at the house shortly before the burglary, had been left paranoid.

Power, of no fixed abode, had been in court just the day before when he was given a suspended sentence for harassment.

Judge Stephen Ashurst said: “That shows I’m afraid a degree of contempt for the court and efforts to try to help you by non-custodial sentences failed.”

Martin Scarborough, defending, said in mitigation that Power had been under the influence of drugs at the time he committed the burglary.

He said he had been dealing with a 12-month problem with tranquilizers and accommodation.

Mr Scarborough said: “He seems to have effectively come clean and shown some remorse and been quite ashamed of his behaviour.”

Power was jailed for two years and eight months.

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