Posted: 07.04.21 at 13:43 by The Editor
A BURGLAR ended up in a coma after he was walloped by a public-spirited doorman while making off with thousands of pounds of aftershave from Boots Chemist in Crewe.
Steven Paul Burden admitted the consequences of his bungled break-in at Boots’ Market Street branch had provided him with a “wake-up call” to years of offending.
Burden’s solicitor, Stuart Flood, admitted his client possessed an “unenviable” criminal record with the 38-year-old previously in front of courts 47 times for theft offences, but there had been no need for him “to be attacked” by a member of the public attempting a citizen’s arrest.
Burden escaped a prison sentence after admitting his latest offences, the Boots’ burglary as well as two offences linked to his part in a separate raid on a motor dealership in Holmes Chapel.
South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court was told Burden and an accomplice were picked up by CCTV cameras kicking in the front door windows at Boots around 12.40 in the morning, with the defendant later captured coming out of the chemists’ branch.
Prosecutor Paul Green said the defendant was then confronted by a security doorman, who was walking home. He spotted Burden coming out of the store with a bag and prevented him from making his escape on a bike, telling him "You're not going anywhere".
When Burden responded by raising his fists, the doorman punched him to the floor before police were called.
Burden’s bag contained 36 bottles of aftershave worth £2,039 and there were two bottles of aftershave also retrieved from the floor.
The prosecutor added: "Well done to the security man for spotting him [Burden] coming out of the shop and disabling him.”
But defence solicitor Mr Flood pointed out there was a concerning outcome of the passing doorman’s actions.
“What he [the doorman] doesn’t say in his statement is that it caused my client to end up in hospital in a coma. The fact is he injured my client in trying to effect a citizen’s arrest," said the solicitor.
“He [Burden] was in a self-induced coma and needed stitches to wounds in his head. The doorman thumped my client and you ask whether there was any need for that as there was no suggestion there was going to be any violence.
"It was a very unsophisticated burglary.”
Burden, of Laburnum Grove, Crewe pleaded guilty to the burglary committed on August 11, 2019. He also admitted stealing two Ford van doors from M6 Vehicle Sales in Holmes Chapel between May 19 and 22 last year as well as criminal damage to a Ford transit van on the same premises between the same time period.
The court was told the owner of the business checked his premises during lockdown and came across the van which was damaged beyond repair. The passenger window was smashed, the rear bumper pulled off and the bulkhead cut to get into the back of the van.
A hole in a perimeter fence had been cut by an intruder and blood spilt inside the van was traced by DNA sampling to Burden. In all the damage to the van amounted to £1,449 with the stolen doors valued at £216 each.
At the time of the offence Burden was being monitored by an electronic tag, although the offences were not committed during curfew hours.
Burden, said his solicitor, had returned to criminality after the break up of his relationship in 2018 and the loss of his employment because he couldn’t get to his shifts at Morrisons' Northwich depot after he lost his driving licence.
Mr Flood said Burden had been unable to recall entering the compound at M6 Vehicle Sales because he was under the “influence of drugs” at the time.
Since the offences, the defendant was said to be “working hard" with the Cheshire East Drug and Alcohol Group.
“This has been a wake-up call for him. His life was put at risk and it has had a profound effect on his family. He is sorting his life out,” said Mr Flood.
Magistrates said there was a “reasonable prospect of rehabilitation” for Burden as they imposed a 38-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months.
They also told him to complete 80 hours of unpaid work as well as 10 rehabilitation activity days and ordered he go on a Thinking Skills programme.
He was also told to pay £1,000 compensation to the van dealership.