Burglar threatened man with vacuum cleaner after breaking into his home

A burglar threatened a man with part of a vacuum cleaner after breaking into his home in the middle of the night.

Mark Bradley, 19, burst into the victim’s flat in Wallsend with a number of others before brandishing the pipe like a baseball bat.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the victim, who has complex difficulties, then had his Xbox taken from him.

The court in Newcastle heard how Bradley went on to steal a car, which was being used as a mobility vehicle, and a work van, which was crashed while being pursued by police.

John Crawford, prosecuting, said the victim was in bed with his partner when he heard a bang to the front door. He said a large group of seven or eight people, including Bradley and Kieron Lowrey, 21, barged into the flat.

He said those in the group, apart from Bradley, then 16, and Lowrey, then 18, then left the address. Mr Crawford said they told the victim that until they found the person they were looking for they were going to take his Xbox

The prosecutor said: “He was threatened with a hoover pipe. He was told that if he grassed them up they would stab him.”

The court heard how Bradley held the pipe while Lowrey picked up the Xbox. The defendants were spotted leaving the flat on August 8, 2020 and Lowrey was seen carrying a black games console. Police were called and they were both arrested.

In a victim impact statement, the man said: “I don’t trust people to come around to my house since this happened. I also had nightmares about what happened that night.”

Bradley then went on to steal a woman’s Renault Cleo from outside her home on July 11, 2023. The court heard how the car, which was worth £1500, was being used as a mobility vehicle for the victim’s mother.

Mr Crawford said the owner was woken at 2.50am by a neighbour banging on her bedroom window. He said her neighbour had spotted three males trying to steal the car before running off.

The prosecutor said the vehicle was not secure as the woman’s daughter had left a spare set of keys in the car, which prevented it from locking. The owner then moved her car across the road and parked it between two other cars.

However later that morning she heard a bang and saw her car being driven off.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said her 15-year-old son now checked their house and car to make sure they were locked before he went to bed. She said: “I do not believe this is the routine a 15-year-old should be doing.”

She said not having the mobility car had had a impact on her mother, adding: “My mum’s missed two hospital appointments due to not having the car available.”

Two days later, on July 13 last year, Bradley was involved in a third crime with Mitchell Morse, 20. The court heard how the pair broke into a work van overnight and drove off in the vehicle.

A police officer, driving an unmarked police car, became aware of the van when it pulled out in front of him. The officer illuminated his blue lights but the vehicle failed to stop.

It was driven on the wrong side of the road, mounting the pavement, and, in an attempt to escape, collided with metal fencing on the pavement. The court heard how there was £10,000 worth of damage caused to the vehicle.

Mr Crawford said: “The crown can’t see which of them was driving.”

Bradley, of Biddlestone Cresent, North Shields, pleaded guilty to robbery, theft of a motor vehicle and aggravated vehicle taking.

Bradley, who appeared in court via a video link to Durham prison, was sentenced to four years in a young offenders institution and banned him from driving for four years. He was also handed a five-year restraining order against the man he robbed.

Lowery, of Beaumaris Court, Longbenton, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to robbery.

Joe Culley, defending Lowrey, told the court that, although the offence was committed in the complainant’s home, it was “an unsophisticated piece of criminality”. He said: “He had, in my submission, the lesser role. He didn’t pick up a weapon. He assisted with things when they got a little out of hand.”

Mr Culley said that Lowrey returned to the address later that day to apologise to the victim. He said: “The following morning the police became involved. He began to regret what had gone on during the night.”

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