Alleged hospice burglar back in court, following failure to appear at recent hearing

The Northern Echo: A recent extension to St Cuthbert's Hospice, in Durham A recent extension to St Cuthbert's Hospice, in Durham

A MAN accused of breaking into a hospice and stealing charity cash has handed himself in, after failing to appear at court last week.

Thomas Bolton Robinson, who is charged with burglary with intent to steal, should have been at Durham Crown Court for a plea hearing in the case, last Friday (June 13).

As no reason could be given for his non-appearance, Judge Neil Clark issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

But the absentee defendant subsequently handed himself in, and appeared at the court on Monday (June 16), when he was jailed for seven days after admitting breaching the terms of his bail by missing the previous hearing without explanation.

He was brought back to the court today (Wednesday June 18) as the trial in the case was originally scheduled to start this week.

But as other cases have over-run in both courts, there was no available slot for the trial to take place.

Defence counsel David Callan told the hearing that, having spoken to the defendant, there will still need to be a trial.

He and Joanne Kidd, for the Crown, agreed on a new date for the hearing, in late September.

Twenty-three-year-old Mr Robinson is the only person charged following investigations into the break-in at St Cuthbert’s Hospice, in Durham on Wednesday August 14 last year.

Two intruders are said to have forced their way through the front door of the premises, in Park House Gardens, at about 8.30pm, before smashing open a showcase donations box and stealing about £200 cash.

Mr Robinson, of Oak Avenue, Sherburn Road, Durham, was remanded in custody by Judge Christopher Prince to be brought back to court for the trial, starting on a day to be confirmed in the week of September 29.

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