Jail time for blade burglar

A BURGLAR high on drink and drugs who sneaked into a man’s flat while his victim was in bed has been locked up.

Drugged-up David Gibson, 34, was caught red-handed after the quick-thinking tenant heard someone moving around and called the police on his mobile phone.

Officers arrived at the flat in St Abb’s Walk, Hartlepool, within five minutes and caught Gibson putting items into bags to steal.

Teesside Crown Court heard he had taken amphetamine before carrying out the burglary.

He was also found to be carrying a miniature meat cleaver with a six-inch blade and had a small amount of amphetamine.

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh said: “The victim heard knocking at the door – he wasn’t expecting anyone so decided not to answer it.

“He then became aware there was someone in his flat. He heard the living room door open and at this point he got out his mobile phone and rang the police.

“He said he didn’t want to get out of bed or go in the living room to confront anyone because he was frightened for his safety.

“About five minutes later the police arrived and caught the defendant red-handed in the act of putting items into bags.”

Gibson had tried to steal a Wii video game console remote, games and a £20 note.

In a victim impact statement the 19-year-old victim said: “I was really shocked by this incident.

“I was so scared I wouldn’t leave the bedroom as I didn’t know who was in the flat or if they would use violence.”

Martin Scarborough, mitigating, said Gibson was under the influence of drink and drugs at the time.

He said: “It has been an impulsive act and he accepted full responsibility. He has expressed remorse for his actions.”

Mr Scarborough added the blade was not brandished or use in any way.

Gibson, of Baden Street, Hartlepool, admitted burglary, possession of a Class-B drug, and having an article with a blade and was jailed for 20 months.

The court heard Gibson has numerous previous convictions, including a burglary of a flat attached to the Princess Helena pub in Hartlepool when he wounded someone who confronted him for which he was jailed for five years.

Judge Peter Armstrong said: “This is an offence which is so serious it can only be custody and it will have to be immediate in the light of your record.

“The fact you had that (meat cleaver) is a matter of seriousness and warrants a custodial sentence in its own right.”