Gateshead burglar stole children’s cystic fibrosis medication after being released from prison early

A burglar who stole children’s cystic fibrosis medication after being released on licence for only 28 days, is back behind bars.

Peter Todd had been let out of prison to serve the remainder of a 95 month sentence for house burglaries on licence when he went back to his old ways. He tried to break into one family home then raided a nearby outhouse, stealing the medication.

A judge at Newcastle Crown Court said the public would be “outraged” to hear that he was only recalled to prison for 28 days for breaching his licence on the previous sentence by committing the latest offences.

Both offences happened on May 19 this year. Todd damaged a glass panel in a door in trying to break into one house and this was discovered the following morning by the children who live there. He had also disabled CCTV and the total cost of the damage was £650.

He then went to a nearby house and burgled an outhouse, stealing five bottles of antibiotics used to treat children for cystic fibrosis. Their dad said the youngsters and his partner are now frightened to go to the outhouse because they fear someone will be there.

Todd, 44, of Victoria Road, Bensham, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and burglary and was jailed for two-and-a-half years. The court heard he has 60 previous convictions, including burglaries, robbery and GBH – the latter two resulting in a nine year sentence in 2004.

He was also sentenced to 95 months in 2017 and had been released on licence for that at the time of the latest offences. Recorder Mark McKone KC said: “The public will be outraged you were recalled for only 28 days and not the full term of your licence but that’s for others to deal with..”

Sophie Allinson, defending, said: “He has become fairly institutionalised. He says this was the sole lapse of drug use he had while out of custodty and it led to these offences. He fell back into old habits and consumed valium.

“He has struggled enormously with his mental health.”