A MAN who stole electrical items from his flatmate then tried to pass it off as a burglary was sentenced by a crown court judge today (Monday, April 28).

Anthony Scott Mawdsley admitted stealing an iPod Touch, a desk top monitor and other items worth £850 from another tenant at his home in Clarence Terrace, Chester-le-Street, last July.

The 20-year-old, together with friends, Daniel Scott Wildblood, 21, and Andrew John Proctor, 23, were captured on CCTV trying to sell the stolen property later that day.

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Jonathan Walker, prosecuting, told Durham Crown Court that Wildblood, of Third Avenue, Chester-le- Street, and Proctor, of Mulberry Terrace, Stanley, had stayed over at Mawdsley’s house on Wednesday, July 3.

He said the friends had left the house at around 10am the next morning.

“The landlord arrived for a pre-planned visit to change the locks just before midday,” said Mr Walker.

“The other occupants had all left. He noticed there was a disturbance and immediately called the police.”

When the trio returned, Mawdsley, now of River View, Prudhoe, and Wildblood gave statements to police saying there had been a burglary and identified the kitchen window as the likely point of entry.

Mr Walker said: “However, a bottle of oil in front of the window and cobwebs suggested a feigned burglary rather than a genuine burglary.

“Further enquiries were made at the scene and [the victim] noticed his was the only room from which items had been stolen.”

Mawdsley and Wildblood pleaded guilty to theft and acting to pervert the course of justice by preparing false statements to the police.

Proctor pleaded guilty to a single charge of theft.

Judge Christopher Prince sentenced Mawdsley and Proctor to 12-months probation supervision and 150 hours unpaid work.

Wildblood, who was judged unfit for unpaid work, was sentenced to 12-months probation supervision and a four-month curfew between the hours of 6pm and 6am.

Judge Prince said: “Stealing from someone you know, your flatmate, is a very mean offence.”

The court heard the stolen items had all been recovered.