Burglar broke into 79-year-old dad's Newcastle home and pushed him while stealing from him

Christopher McNeil, who burgled his dad
-Credit: (Image: Northumbria Police)

A blind burglar broke into his elderly dad's house and pushed him before stealing from him.

It was on April 3 last year that Christopher McNeil went to his dad's home on Waterloo Street, Newcastle, uninvited. He shouted through the letterbox demanding his bus fare then kicked the door open and went in

The court heard he said to his dad "you f****** old b******, my mother would turn in her grave". The victim called police as McNeil, who is registered blind following an ammonia attack, stole £30 and some cigarettes from a kitchen drawer.

Omar Ahmad, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court: "The victim said the defendant pushed him in the bedroom during the incidence, causing him to stumble and leaving him in pain."

The pensioner said in a victim impact statement: "I've suffered problems with him since he was a child. For some reason he took the wrong pathway in life and got himself in trouble.

"I've had no trouble since and I would like it to remain that way. I'm in the late days of my life and would like to live my remaining days in peace." He added that he did not want his son to be locked up but does not want contact with him.

McNeil, 34, of Kipling Walk, Gateshead, who has 72 previous convictions, pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced to 21 months suspended for two years with a five-year restraining order.

Recorder Simon Goldberg KC said that while McNeil is a "three strike burglar" and was facing a mandatory three year prison sentence, his medical condition amounted to "exceptional circumstances" which meant he could avoid taking that course, adding: "You would suffer disproportionately if I were to send you to prison."

Claire Anderson, defending, said McNeil claims the door lock was broken and that he did not steal cash and cigarettes. She added that he is registered blind following an ammonia attack around ten years ago, before which he was a painter and decorator.