House-break neighbour’s flood havoc

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A BURGLAR left a sodden trail of destruction after scavenging pipes from a neighbour’s Wigan home.

A court heard today that although the supply had been turned off there was £3,000 in damages caused because of water in the radiators.

Police found that copper piping had been ripped out of each room of the part-renovated and unoccupied house and was stacked up ready to take away.

In the dock was 29-year-old Mark Thompson, of New Street, Platt Bridge, who pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal.

Sentencing him to eight months’ imprisonment suspended for two years the judge, Recorder Bernadette Baxter, said that the case clearly crossed the custody threshold. “This unoccupied house was ready to be let out and had undergone maintenance and renovation. You disturbed all of that.”

She also ordered Thompson to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work, placed him under supervision for 12 months and to take part in a probation programme.

“You have been given a chance. If you reject it you will be sentenced again,” she warned him. Brian Treadwell, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that on the evening of June 15 a resident in New Street heard the sound of smashing glass but when she looked out could not see anything.

She then heard banging coming from a nearby unoccupied house and rang the police. Officers arrived and shouted to the intruder to come to the window. Thompson appeared and climbed out of the window he had broken and was arrested.

He told police that he had “just trying to earn a bit of cash”. The flooding repair bill was £2,750, said Mr Treadwell.

When interviewed Thompson said that he had had a couple of drinks and then took a line of cocaine and went to the house and broke in.

Philip Martin, defending, said that Thompson, who has previous convictions including a similar offence, had “not been thinking straight”.

He had just been told his grandfather, to whom he was close, was dying and he has in fact since died. It had not been a sophisticated offence and he had isolated the water supply to minimise the damage, said Mr Martin.