Crook steals care home’s char­ity cash


The Chronicle - - News - By SARA NI­CHOL Re­porter­chol@ncj­me­ @SaraNi­chol10

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

Jor­dan Bain­bridge

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