Ashbrooke youth claimed he was “looking for his Football” after being caught burgling properties

Ah Ashbrooke burglar claimed he was looking for his football when was caught burgling a home.

Thomas Newton, 19, made his way into the gardens of two properties in Cleadon, where he tried his luck at breaking into a child’s playhouse and a garage.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the first homeowner was contacted by a neighbour and when he returned home he confronted the defendant and unknown female.

Newton then later struck again at a flat in Gateshead where he stole a bike and clothing to the value of around £1,000.

Prosecutor Amber Walker said Newton broke into two properties on Woodlands Road and Whitburn Road, both in Cleadon, on the evening of June 26 last year.

Ms Walker said both homeowners later checked CCTV where they found the defendant trying doors to outhouses at the rear of the properties.

Ms Walker told the court that when the first victim confronted Smith after returning home from work, she said: “The male replied looking for my football.

“The female replied saying they were trying to break in somewhere to steal a bike or a car so they could get home.”

The court heard less than three months later Newton found himself offending again after breaking into the shared accommodation in Gateshead.

The victim returned home to find his window open and items including a £600 mountain bike were missing. It was later discovered listed for sale by the defendant but the court heard none of the items were returned.

Newton, of Park Road, Ashbrooke, was found guilty of two counts of attempted burglary and one count of burglary of a non-dwelling.

Judge Gavin Doig sentenced him to two years and three months which included the part activation of a previous suspended sentence he was subject to.

Christopher Knox, defending, said the offending was brought on by people who were “threatening” Newton.

Mr Knox said: “This is pretty unsophisticated offending in my submission. “It’s not quite clear why they were threatening him to do burglaries. He would like to apologise for committing these offences.”