Crook steals care home’s charity cash
CROOK TOOK POPPY MONEY DAYS BEFORE REMEMBRANCE DAY
A CALLOUS crook burgled a care home just days before Remembrance Day and helped steal a Poppy Appeal tin and Christmas raffle prizes.
Shameless Jordan Bainbridge snuck into Byker Hall Nursing Home, on Allendale Road, and helped himself the charity collection box and the prizes, which had been donated to raise money for the elderly residents.
The burglary sickened the home’s staff, who were horrified to discover the break-in at around 6am on November 6.
But Bainbridge was soon caught out when he was arrested for a separate offence later that day and was found in possession of a one of the raffle prizes, a watch gift set, a court heard.
Now, the 20-year-old, of Harriet Street, Byker, has been locked-up for 12 weeks after he pleaded guilty to one count of burglary with intent at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court.
He also admitted separate offences of being found in a premises for an unlawful purpose, obstructing a police officer, two counts of criminal damage and one of theft from a motor vehicle.
The court was told Bainbridge was already subject to a suspended sentence at the time he committed the burglary at the care home in the early hours of November 5.
Anna Barker, prosecuting, said: “At 6am, cleaners made the manager aware that a charity box and raffle prizes were missing from the front desk.”
At 12.15am, in the early hours of the following morning, a man reported seeing Bainbridge walking down Walker Road, in Newcastle, carrying half of a flag stone, which had been taken from the front of his house.
Police arrived and found a nearby car had been damaged and the flag stone was discovered inside, Ms Barker said.
The prosecutor added: “When they approached, the defendant was in the car and made-off. He was apprehended by police and then searched. While being searched, various items were found on him, including one of the raffle prizes taken in the earlier burglary.
“The defendant was also identified from the burglary by a police officer, who recognised him from the CCTV when he was being interviewed.”
The court heard the offences of being found in a premises for an unlawful purpose and obstructing a police officer dated back to September 24 when Bainbridge was found in the private staff room at Rail Gourmet, in Newcastle’s Central Station.
On that occasion, he was discovered by a worker with a pair of scissors jammed between a locker door and frame, Ms Barker said. And, when he was arrested, he gave officers his brother’s name as he had “no criminal record and would get into less trouble”.
Peter Farrier, mitigating, said Bainbridge suffered from a drug problem and couldn’t remember committing the burglary.
He added: “It’s very, very sad he ends up before the court for offences he doesn’t realise he’s committed but the evidence is clear that he has.
“The court is dealing with a young man who is susceptible and vulnerable. He’s gone through special school education and has had problems right the way through his school.”
The solicitor said Bainbridge was isolated, ostracised and young and had been “very, very naughty”.
Speaking at the time of the theft, Byker Hall Nursing Home manager, Dawn Heppell-Marshall said: “Everybody is appalled – it’s a total disgrace.
“We can’t believe that someone would stoop so low as to enter a nursing home and steal from it.
“And to steal a poppy tin that is raising money for people who served their country. Many of the residents here will have probably served in the war.”
Manager Dawn Heppell-Marshall outside The Byker Hall care home on Allendale Road