Coats help nail burglar

Michael Mullen
Michael Mullen
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A BURGLAR who was confronted by a startled homeowner has been jailed for two years and eight months.

Preston Crown Court heard the woman had been in her kitchen getting a drink when she spotted Michael Mullen putting her possessions in a bag.

Mullen, 38, was asked by the shocked woman what he was doing in her flat in Holmfield Road, North Shore, and he replied “this is Bob’s place”.

He then pushed her, although she was able to wrestle a coat from him before he made his escape.

Karen Brooks, prosecuting, told the court: “He put the bag down and walked towards her.

“She pushed him and said ‘stay there while I get help’.

“The defendant again walked towards her and pushed her in the chest, into the hallway and against a bannister.

“He then walked past her and down the stairs.

“She dragged his coat from him.

“He ran away down the stairs and the matter was reported to the police”.

The court heard Mullen, of Hesketh Avenue, North Shore, had attempted to burgle a couple’s home, also on Holmfield Road, earlier on the same evening in early January.

Their dog began barking and their daughter spotted a man walking away from the front door.

It was later discovered that car keys and a house key were missing.

The coat wrestled from Mullen had been stolen in a further burglary earlier that evening at a home on Warbreck Drive.

Three coats in total were taken by Mullen during the spate of thefts.

The man who lived there had gone to a shop afterwards and spotted the defendant in the street, wearing his girlfriend’s coat.

Mullen was stood in a garden at the time.

The man chased after Mullen when he ran off.

There was a tussle and the defendant ended up restrained.

Two coats were recovered. Jacob Dyer, defending, told the court: “Everything suggests the defendant is a man who was off his head on drugs and alcohol at the time.

“There was no sophistication involved in the offences at all, it was wholly inept.

“He had become depressed - it was the first anniversary of his son’s death who had died from meningitis just over a year earlier.

“Also, his relationship had broken down just before Christmas.

“He can’t really explain why he has committed these burglaries and he expresses remorse.

“He is shocked at his behaviour, particularly in relation to the confrontation.

All the stolen property in the case has been recovered.

Mullen had admitted two offences of burglary, plus one of burglary with intent to steal

He had 41 previous offences on his record.

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