Bungling Sheffield burglar got this surprise when he broke into a disused building

A bungling Sheffield burglar who broke into a disused building was caught "empty-handed" because there was nothing to steal.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 3:30 pm
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 12:35 pm

Police were called to what had been commercial premises on Fitzwilliam Road, Rotherham, at 2am, on September 16, where David Allison was caught "bang to rights", said prosecutor Andrew Smith.

Along with his co-accused, Shane Machin, he broke a window and ransacked cupboards, causing £500 of damage, but took nothing, because "there was nothing of any value to be taken."

Allison, aged 38, was also found in possession of someone else's bus pass.

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Fitzwilliam Road, Rotherham

"He described it as a life-saver and said he went everywhere with it," Mr Smith said.

The court heard the duo both had "lengthy previous convictions" - Allison for robbery, theft and burglary, and Machin for possession of drugs with intent to supply and violence.

James Gould, mitigating, said Allison, who has already spent 68 days on remand, pleaded guilty very quickly.

Dermot Hughes, for Machin, said his client had been out of trouble for some time, despite his "unattractive record."

Allison, of Princes Street, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to non-dwelling burglary, fraud and failing to surrender, while Machin, aged 56, of Larch Mews, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to non-dwelling burglary.

Recorder Simon Kealey QC told them: "You caused a degree of damage. You both have poor records but neither of you are persistent burglars."

He handed Machin a 12 month community order, with supervision, while Allison received four months, at Sheffield Crown Court, on Thursday.