A POST-GRADUATE from Mexico is accused of breaking into college property and other students’ rooms over the Christmas holiday.

Juan Carlos Miramontes Martinez appeared at Durham Crown Court, via video link from the nearby prison, facing three counts of burglary, one of them an alleged aggravated break-in, plus going equipped for burglary.

He was said to have been arrested in a female toilet block at Grey College, Durham University, in the early hours of January 5, with a bag of tools, including hammers and screw drivers, plus property stolen from a female student’s room.

The defendant, who is studying for a Masters’ degree at Durham University, is alleged to have taken jewellery, personal letters and other property from student accommodation, plus 46 personal letters taken from the post room of the South Road college.

His barrister, Chris Morrison, asked for the charges not to be put to his client, as he is yet to have a face-to-face conference, to go through the allegations with him in full, at the prison.

Judge James Adkin said: “He’s not charged with murder. He’s found with those tools and items taken from other rooms.

“It’s not rocket science, he’s either guilty or not guilty. He knows if he committed burglary or not.”

Despite his misgivings, he agreed to Mr Morrison’s request, but set a timetable for a potential trial in the case, in the week beginning May 11.

A further hearing will take place at the court on April 17, when the charges will be put to Snr Martinez.

Judge Adkin remanded the 29-year-old defendant, of Cooper Square, Gilesgate, Durham, to remain in custody in the meantime.