Drug-fuelled South Yorkshire burglar caused £4,500 of damage to Barnsley house during break-in
A burglar caused £4,500 of damage after breaking in to a South Yorkshire home while in the grips of a cocaine addiction.
Sheffield Crown Court heard on December 2 how Darren Barnett, aged 43, of Kirk View centre, in Hoyland, Barnsley, was caught by police at an unoccupied house on Coronation Road, Barnsley.
Recorder Angela Frost told Barnett: “You entered an empty-dwelling and stole copper piping and a boiler. You entered the property well-equipped to take these items.”
Joseph Bell, prosecuting, said a damaged door was found at the property that had been kicked in and this defendant was seen climbing down a drainpipe by police.
Mr Bell added that Barnett was dressed in dark-coloured clothing and police recovered three crowbars, bolt cutters, metal cutters, pliers and a screwdriver from the scene.
Officers also found that copper piping had been removed and a boiler had been damaged, causing a gas leak that posed a risk to neighbouring properties, according to Mr Bell.
Mr Bell said that the housing authority property had been unoccupied at the time of the offence but the damage caused required £4,500 of repairs.
Jobless Barnett, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to the burglary and he also admitted handling stolen goods after he was found with a woman’s driving licence.
The defendant also accepted that he had failed to surrender to court during previous proceedings in September.
Chris Aspinall, defending, said: “Prior to the commission of the burglary in January, this year, he had been introduced to crack cocaine by an associate who manipulated him because of his vulnerability and it got to the point where he became addicted and he could not fund himself.
“And he would say he was encouraged to commit the offence by others.”
Mr Aspinall added that Barnett has mental health issues and when he is free from drugs he is free from offending, with his last previous convictions dating back to 2010 and 2013.
Recorder Frost sentenced Barnett to 18 months of custody suspended for two years with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. Barnett was also ordered to pay £100 compensation towards the cost of repairs.