Raiders locked up for late-night Hartlepool burglary
A burglar who raided a man's home late at night and pawned the victim's stolen belongings has been jailed for two years.
Anthony Whitelock and his partner in crime Anthony Clark broke into the house in Milton Road, Hartlepool, by kicking in the front door on January 12.
Fortunately, the occupier was out at a friend's at the time but returned in the early hours of the morning to find police at the scene and his house a mess.
Emma Atkinson, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: "Police had been contacted by a neighbour that a burglary was in process and there was two males inside.
"When [the occupier] returned home he found that the door had been forced. There was a crack in the door as if it had been kicked and the handle was hanging off its hinges.
"Inside a television had been pushed over, there were DVDs on the floor."
A bank card, rucksack containing personal letters, PlayStation games console, mobile phone and two watches were stolen.
Whitelock, 32, of Grange Road, used the bank card the following day to by £35 of tobacco from Bosco convenience store in Mulgrave Road where he was well known.
He went to a Cash Converters store, where he was also known to staff, and got £90 for the PlayStation.
He returned the following day and got £20 for the stolen mobile phone.
Whitelock was in the Bosco shop on January 15 when police arrived making inquiries into the burglary and staff pointed him out as using the stolen bank card.
He and Clark, also 32, and of Grange Road, Hartlepool, both pleaded guilty to burglary.
Whitelock, who has 60 previous convictions, including an attempted knife-point shop robbery and injuring a taxi driver in 2014 for which he was jailed for five years, also admitted three additional charges of fraud over his attempts to profit from the stolen property.
In a victim impact statement read in court the victim told how the burglary had left him feeling insecure and stressed.
He said: "I have lost my possessions. I have lost my telephone. I can't contact people."
Martin Scarborough, mitigating for Whitelock, said he was bound to be caught after taking the stolen property to shops where he was known.
He added: "It appears to have been an opportunistic burglary. He accepts his involvement."
Mr Scarborough said Whitelock lapsed into drug taking after problems securing accommodation.
Stephen Constantine, mitigating for Clark, who also has a lengthy criminal record, said: "He tells me this offence was committed impulsively. It wasn't pre-planned.
"At least he had the good sense not to be involved trying to use or dispose of that stolen property."
Jailing Clark for 20 months Judge Simon Hickey said: "You know as well as I do our personal space, our homes is important to people.
"The Court of Appeal say you invade that person's space you will go to prison."
Judge Hickey added to Whitelock: "We all make choices in life and you chose to burgle someone's house and take their card. There are consequences."