Man stole from town centre shop before breaking into Hartlepool dentists' surgery through the roof

A man who was high on drugs broke into a dentists’ surgery through the roof.

Sunday, 11th August 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Sunday, 11th August 2019, 9:29 am
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

Cleaners at the Integrated Dental Holdings in Hartlepool were startled to find Andrew Clark in the premises.

Clark had earlier stolen an £11.99 multi-tool from a town centre shop, Teesside Crown Court heard.

“He was seen to put the tool in a bag for life and walk out without paying for it,” said Emma Atkinson, prosecuting.

“The shop assistant commented he did not appear to be walking in a straight line.

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“At about 6.30pm on the same day, cleaners at the surgery were disturbed by a noise from the roof area of the premises.

“Clark had been on the roof and broken in via a window.”

Clark, 44, of Jameson Street, Hartlepool, admitted burglary and theft, both on June 27.

Gary Wood, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Clark was under the influence when he committed these offences, and he can remember little about them.

“He had not long been released from his last sentence, and he found himself at liberty this time with no support.

“Mr Clark was not eligible for benefits, at least not immediately, and found himself trying to survive on a small loan.

“He has been recalled to serve the balance of his last sentence.”

Mr Wood said Clark is a married man with three children.

“He has recently become a grandfather,” added Mr Wood.

“When he is released this time, there are plans for family support which he hopes will prevent him lapsing back into offending.

“He is really keen to make an effort to turn his back on crime.”

Judge Peter Armstrong sentenced Clark to eight months in prison.

“You have a substantial record,” said the judge. “This includes burglary.

“You were released on licence from your last sentence, but you went on to commit these two offences.

“The burglary was detected before you took anything, and while you may have been looking for drugs there is no evidence you targeted these premises for that reason.”