Student caught burglar trying to steal his laptop
SNEAKY SMITH BROKE IN TO UNIVERSITY DIGS IN DEAD OF NIGHT
A SHOCKED student was left terrified after finding a burglar creeping around his home in the dead of night.
David Smith had sneaked into student accommodation in Newcastle and found his way into the digs of one teenager.
A court heard how the victim heard his front door opening at 1.50am and was petrified at seeing Smith lurking in his living room, eyeing up a laptop.
The 48-year-old serial crook, who has 169 previous convictions, admitted burglary but has now been allowed to keep his freedom.
Prosecutor Michael Bunch said the break in happened at the Rialto Building, off New Bridge Street, in the early hours of September 17.
He told Newcastle Crown Court: “He heard a noise which he recognised as the sound of his front door opening.
“He called out to see if he could illicit a response and when he got no answer, he got up and walked towards the living room.
“He was able to see a man in the corner close to a desk where his laptop was located.”
The student shouted “What are you doing” and Smith started to walk towards the door, apologising and telling the victim to calm down before leaving. Police were informed and the student was shown a number of images of possible culprits and picked out Smith, who admitted planning to steal the laptop when arrested.
Smith, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced to eight months suspended for 18 months with a four-month curfew.
He is already on a community order with a drug rehabilitation requirement, imposed a month ago by magistrates for fraud and theft, which he was on bail for at the time of the burglary.
Steven Reed, defending, said Smith had been complying with the community order and wants to get off drugs.
Judge Sarah Mallett said: “I think it would be counter-productive if I didn’t give him the opportunity to succeed, which could make such a big difference to his future and therefore be to everybody’s else’s benefit.”
The judge told Smith: “I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt today and I hope you turn your life around.”
He heard a noise which he recognised as the sound of his front door opening.
David Smith, who admitted burgling student accommodation in Newcastle