House burglar who stole prescription pills in Hartlepool burglary told to clean up his life

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A HOUSE burglar who stole a housewife’s prescription pills while she and her family slept has been given six months to clean up his life.

Heroin addict Mark Wass, 30, pocketed the pills as he raided a house in Hartlepool at 2am.

He also got away with two iPads, another tablet device, £700 cash and jewellery.

Wass aroused suspicion when he dropped the pills later in a McDonald’s, scattering them all over the floor, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Staff called police because of his suspicious behaviour and despite making off he was quickly identified from the restaurant’s CCTV.

Wass was arrested at his home soon afterwards where most of the property he had stolen from the house in Blakelock Road was found.

He faces being jailed for 15 months but was told the sentence will be suspended if he can tackle his drug addiction and keep out of trouble in the next six months.

Prosecutor Paul Lee said the victims discovered the burglary when they got up at 7am.

The woman victim told police later that the break-in had upset her and she dreaded going to bed because she was so scared.

The court heard Wass had a previous conviction for possessing heroin and a pre-sentence report said that he was affected by drugs at the time.

Ian Mullarkey, mitigating, said that Wass had taken voluntary steps to deal with his heroin and alcohol addictions, and the pre-sentence report said he was making excellent progress.

Mr Mullarkey added that Wass hoped to attend a residential course to quit drugs, and also a course for his alcohol problems.

The judge, Recorder Richard Woolfall, deferred sentence until August with conditions that he committed no further offences and continued to make progress tackling his addictions.

The judge told him: “Anybody who enters a home that was occupied goes to prison, and I have in mind a 15 months jail sentence.

“But there may be a glimmer of hope, and if you abide by the conditions I have imposed then the sentence will be suspended. If you breach it you will go to jail when you come back before me.”

Wass, of Oval Grange, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to the January 3 burglary at an earlier appearance.