A MAN who was involved in a burglary at a County Durham boathouse has been sentenced to 80 hours unpaid work.

John Paul Templeton, of Burnett Crescent, Kelloe, has admitted playing a part in the burglary, which saw a bag and handbag containing £70 stolen from the office of The Boathouse at Elvet Waterside in Durham City on October 7.

Alan Davidson, prosecuting at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court today (Thursday, March 27), said one member of the group had distracted the owner by inquiring about hiring a boat, while a female accomplice stole the bags.

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Templeton, 23, was captured on CCTV trying to help the woman get rid of the stolen items.

Daniel Pygall, mitigating, said Templeton could remember very little of the incident as he had been taking valium at the time.

“The man at court today is not the same man who committed that offence,” said Mr Pygall.

“He has stopped taking drugs and is actively looking for work. He has turned his life around.”

Magistrates sentenced Templeton to 80 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay £20 compensation to the victim and £50 prosecution costs.