18 SHER­IFF COURT House­breaker sent to prison for three years

Thief pinned down af­ter chase

East Kilbride News - - NEWS - Ni­cola Find­lay

A thief who broke into a house – only to be pinned down by its have-a-go-hero oc­cu­pants un­til cops ar­rived – was jailed for three years.

Steven Gunn, 40, who has pre­vi­ously been handed a six-year stint be­hind bars for as­sault and rob­bery, ad­mit­ted break­ing into the prop­erty in Bal­lantrae, Ste­wart­field, on Au­gust 5 and steal­ing a set of car keys.

Hamil­ton Sher­iff Court heard that the home own­ers, a cou­ple in their early 60s along with rel­a­tives in their 20s, were asleep within the prop­erty when they heard the sound of a dis­tur­bance com­ing from down­stairs at ap­prox­i­mately 6.15am.

Fis­cal de­pute Cal­lum Forsyth said: “One of the males within the house went to in­ves­ti­gate and saw glass strewn across the hall­way.

“The front door was smashed with a large brick.

“He ob­served the ac­cused stand­ing in the hall­way with a key for a Ford Fi­esta which was taken from a sideboard in the hall.”

The fis­cal went on: “When the ac­cused saw the house­holder stand­ing at the top of the stairs he fled and the man gave chase.

“The ac­cused was tripped up and both he and the male house­holder fell to the ground.”

At this point two other men from within the house, in­clud­ing the home owner, gave chase and as­sisted, with one of them sit­ting on the ac­cused un­til po­lice ar­rived.

The car keys, which were for the Fi­esta parked in the drive­way, were still in the ac­cused’s hand at this point but were taken from him.

Po­lice were called and ar­rived shortly af­ter with the ac­cused cau­tioned and charged.

The court heard the cost of dam­age to the smashed front door of the house was £100.

Gunn’s de­fence lawyer told the court that de­spite ini­tially do­ing well af­ter be­ing re­leased from prison in 2014, per­sonal prob­lems saw him “re­vert to type”and that his client had a “hazy rec­ol­lec­tion” of the of­fence hav­ing been self-med­i­cat­ing on Val­ium.

Sher­iff Marie Smart said: “You have an ap­palling record for sim­i­lar crimes and this is a shock­ing of­fence.

“It must be aw­ful for any­one to wake up and find a stranger in their house steal­ing prop­erty and be­cause of this cus­tody is the only op­tion.”

Gunn’s three-year jail sen­tence was back­dated to Au­gust 7.

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