Despicable burglar's 'fall from grace’ after raiding home of man with learning difficulties

A prolific alcohol thief burgled a man living in sheltered accommodation, leaving him too scared to stay in his own home.

Jonathan Green stole an Xbox, PlayStation and a TV from a flat on Redcar High Street on March 29 - leaving the vulnerable resident devastated. The 42-year-old walked into the communal entrance and was caught on CCTV trying doors to neighbouring flats, before he was able to get into the supported accommodation and take the property, valued at £350.

When the resident came home from work on Good Friday, he said he "could not stop shaking". Green had been stealing bottles of alcohol from Morrisons, on Lord Street in Redcar, weeks earlier.

On March 2, he left the shop with three bottles of Smirnoff Vodka in his rucksack. On March 4, he ran out with a bottle of Bacardi and on March 6, he left the shop before paying for a £60 crate of wine.

By March 10, targeted The Regent Cinema. The general manager confronted him after he saw Green putting sweets in his pockets. Green threw some chocolates at the manager, before running out with packets of jelly sweets, Teesside Crown Court heard.

On March 16, he broke into TunedIn - a youth centre on Majuba Road. Green threw a rock through the windows, but left after failing to get into a safe.

In a statement read out to the court, the man who lived in the flat on the High Street, said: " I have a learning disability. This is how I came to live there - it is supported accommodation. I cannot return home now due to my anxiety. I have to stay with my mum."

Green, of Newcommen Terrace in Redcar, pleaded guilty to burglary with intent, burglary and to four counts of theft. He has 39 previous convictions for 92 offences, which include a burglary in 2018, where he locked an old lady in a room and demanded cash.

Andrew Turton, mitigating, said that Green is, "well-thought of in the building industry" where he used to work. "He's fallen from grace after leaving a drug treatment course half-way through," Mr Turton said, "he has an horrendous drug history. But he's now clear of drugs."

Green listened on video link, where he has been held on remand in Durham prison as Judge Howard Crowson told him: "You've been persistently dishonest for many years now. The burglary on Redcar High Street - the victim now only returns to his flat to check on his possessions, but he can't bear to stay overnight. Your intrusion caused real anxiety."

Green was jailed for 30 months. He will serve half, before he is released on licence. He was ordered to pay the resident of the flat on the High Street £228 in compensation, at a rate of £5 per week.