Blackpool burglar stole tools from garage to pay drug debt

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court

A man was seen burgling a garage and stealing almost £1,000 of electric tools.

Andrew Burns, who was later found hiding in a nearby front garden by a police dog, said he committed the crime because he had a debt to drug dealers.

Burns, 38, of Queens Promenade, Blackpool, denied burglary but was found guilty of the offence after a trial in his absence. He admitted failing to answer bail.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said a woman saw Burns climb into the neighbour’s garden on North Shore’s Shaftesbury Avenue, go into their garage and come out with a tray of tools.

When arrested Burns told police that two “heavy” men were chasing him. He was walking back from his girlfriend’s when he saw their car, so he ran and hid.

Probation officer Lesley Whittaker, told the judge in a report that Burns said he had been using £10 of heroin a day and had accrued a debt to dealers.

Burns committed the burglary on the spur of the moment and sold the tools for £100 which he used to pay some of the drug debt.

Burns was sentenced to six-months’ prison suspended for 12 months, with up to 20 days’ rehabilitation to be supervised by the Probation Service, put on nine months drug rehabilitation and ordered to pay £500 compensation by Blackpool magistrates.

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