Student woke to find intruder

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A student who got up in the night to get a drink spotted a bald-headed stranger in his living room, a court has heard.

He alerted his dad and they crept downstairs, armed with a baseball bat for protection. But the intruder had left.

Fingerprints found on a back door handle, wheelie bin and a TV screen showed that Simon Gotthardt had also been at the Blackpool home, as well as the bald-headed man.

Gotthardt, 26, of Furness Avenue, Grange Park, admitted a charge of burglary with intent to steal and a bail offence.

The burglary occurred at a home on Gateside Drive, Grange Park last August.

David Clarke, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said a student living there got up to get himself a drink of milk at about 1.15am, when he saw a shadowy figure in the living room.

Thinking it might be his dad, he went upstairs to check and realised it wasn’t him.

On taking a second look, the young man could see a bald-headed male. He went back upstairs to alert his father.

The two men went downstairs, armed with a baseball bat.

But by the time they got downstairs, a kitchen window was wide open, and whoever had been in the house had left. The police were called.

The lead from a flatscreen TV had been unplugged, as though ready to be taken away. A wallet was apparently taken.

Fingerprints found on a back door handle, a wheelie bin and the TV screen proved to be Gotthardt’s.

When arrested later that same month, the defendant said he had been acting as a lookout when a friend called him inside at one stage.

He said items were being passed to him, but he had not taken anything himself, and was not responsible for stealing the wallet.

Gothardt was on court bail at the time of the offence.

Chris Hudson, defending, said he had been on remand in prison for about 10 weeks.

“He says he was the lookout, but knew something dishonest was going on.

“He had attached himself to a dishonest enterprise for money.

“He wanted money for cannabis. An older man suggested he go out with him. He didn’t specifically know it was for a burglary, but he knew it would be something dishonest.”

The judge, Recorder Andrew Long, gave him 11 months’ prison, suspended for a year, with 12 months’ supervision and 200 hours’ unpaid work.

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