Thousands of pounds of goods stolen in burglary at Windermere house

A MUM returned home with her two young children to find it being burgled by two youths, a court heard.

The woman suffered a broken nose after she confronted the pair and one of them slammed a door in her face as he fled from the house, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

The teenagers, who were 17 at the time but are now 18, admitted burglary.

But after hearing that both Alessio Cotolo and Tyler McShane were previously of good character, Judge Nicholas Barker suspended the custodial sentences he imposed.

Rachel Woods, prosecuting, said the teenagers committed the burglary on March 21 last year.

A neighbour noticed the youths loitering in Craig Walk, Windermere, at around 12.30pm, said the prosecutor.

One was seen pulling on latex gloves.

“The neighbour decided to challenge them and asked them what they were up to,” said Miss Woods.

They claimed to be waiting for a lift.

A short time later, the victim returned home with her seven-year-old son and with her two-and-a half-year old. As she walked into the house, she noticed a distinctive smell of cannabis coming from inside.

Investigating, she went to an upstairs bed-room – and saw the two defendants, clearly startled.

She yelled at them to get out, prompting them to flee.

They run through the back door, which had earlier been left hanging off its hinges after being forced.

As the second youth was leaving, he tried to push the door shut, breaking the woman’s nose. Goods worth several thousand pounds – including designer clothes and an expensive watch – were stolen in the raid, the court heard.

The watch was later found by a member of the public in a local park.

After the burglary, the court heard, the victim’s seven-year-old son was upset and unable to sleep alone, feeling anxious and distressed.

The court heard that both defendants were regarded ordinarily as “thoroughly nice young men.”

Cutolo, of Glebe Drive, Windermere, came from a good and supportive family, said his barrister.

But he had got in with the “wrong crowd.”

McShane, of Oakthwaite Road, Windermere, was also from a good home and struggled to explain his actions.

What he did had been out of character, the court heard.

Passing sentence, Judge Nicholas Barker told the defendants – who used cannabis as they carried out the burglary – that they had been responsible for a “gross invasion of the privacy and security” of their victim’s home.

“You knock to go into someone’s home,” said the judge.

“Nobody goes into your home unless invited. If somebody unlawfully and forcefully with intent to do a criminal act goes into your home, it’s a gross and significant breach of that privacy… that’s why burglary is viewed seriously by the courts.”

Judge Barker said he had no doubt that the prosecution had been a “wake-up call” for the defendants, who he accepted felt remorseful.

“You have brought equally disgrace and a great deal of upset on your own family,” said the judge.

McShane’s mother blamed herself but that was wrong, said the judge.

On both teenagers, Judge Barker imposed 14-months detention, suspending the term for two years, along with 160 hours unpaid work and 21 hours at an attendance centre. Both must pay the victim £1,200 compensation. They must also serve a three-month overnight curfew.

The Westmorland Gazette | News