Monday, October 10, 2016

One-legged burglar in wheelchair who broke into flat then flooded it before stealing TV jailed

A one-legged burglar who broke into a flat, flooded it then made off with a TV has been jailed. CCTV footage captured Michael Flanagan dragging his wheelchair through a smashed window before pulling the pipes on two washing machines. The disabled criminal then lifted a TV through the window before climbing back out and making off.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 44-year-old was caught on CCTV at the property in central Stockton, in August last year. Prosecuting, Jenny Haigh, said: “He takes a hammer, smashes the glass of the property, climbs through and brings his wheelchair through that window to assist him and then disconnects two washing machines, leaving water leaking out all over the floor.

“He steals a TV and leaves blood at the scene.” He was recognised by his landlord who also owned the property. The court heard Flanagan, of Stockton, had targeted the house in revenge, believing his landlord owed him money. Robert Mochrie, defending him, said the burglary was carried out without “any degree of professionalism” and was in relation to a perceived issue with his landlord.

LiveLeak link. Alternative, slightly longer video link.

“When he attended these premises he did so in a state of drink,” he said. “Had he really put any thought into it then surely any half-sensible man would realise that entering the premises as he did was putting himself at risk of being caught.” He told the court Flanagan had a troubled upbringing and lost his leg through drug addiction. Judge Sean Morris sentenced Flanagan, who had previous convictions for burglary, to 26 months’ imprisonment.

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