Burglar ‘played unconscious as police arrived’

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A burglar caught hiding in the bedroom of a home he had raided has been given a final chance to put his drug problem behind him.

Stephen Mowles pretended to be unconscious when found crouched under a duvet in a corner of the room at the property on Palatine Road, Blackpool.

His girlfriend, Laura Perkins, had ridden off with two bags of stolen property but went on to be arrested herself.

She also has been given a final opportunity to mend her ways and put her problems in the past. Laptops, a CD player, DVD player, a mobile phone and personal items were all taken from the home in June this year. The stolen haul was worth more than £850.

Mowles, 39 of no fixed address, and 33-year-old Perkins of Gorton Street, Blackpool, had both pleaded guilty to the burglary.

The occupants had gone out, leaving their home locked up, on June 16. But a family member returned that night to be met with police.

Joseph Almond, prosecuting, said a police officer had gone to the junction of Palatine Road and Park Road and ran into Perkins who was riding a bike. She was carrying bags bulging with items, some of which had been stolen from the home.

Although she swerved past the officer, he managed to catch her. Police were responding to reports of a break-in when Mowles was found under a duvet and crouched in a corner of the bedroom at the burgled address. Police believe he was pretending to be unconscious.

Robin Kitching, for Mowles, said he had recently made a significant effort with various agencies to try and tackle his drug problem.

Richard Archer for Perkins said it had been a very poor attempt at burglary on her part. She had a terrible previous record but no previous convictions for burglary.

Mowles was given two years’ prison suspended for two years with two years’ supervision and 15 months’ drug rehabilitation. Perkins received a 20-month jail term suspended for two years with two years supervision and 15 months’ drug rehabilitation.