A teenage burglar who 'trashed' a Brighouse couple’s bungalow with a 14-year-old accomplice may have to apologise to his victims face-to-face.
Callum Stanton, who was 17 when he burgled the couple’s home in Lightcliffe Road, Hove Edge, spent three days in a young offenders institution after a judge locked him up earlier this week.
The 18-year-old college student, of Rastrick Common, Brighouse , was brought back before Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC this morning (Fri) to learn his fate and was given a 12-month community order which includes a six-month electronically monitored home curfew between 7pm and 7am.
The judge said the order would also include a restorative justice element as part of a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and was hesitant about not sending him to jail.
Judge Durham Hall said if the victims were prepared to take part that would hopefully mean Stanton “grovelling and apologising” face-to-face.
“I’m not sure I’d like to see the person who trashed my house,” added the judge.
Prosecutor Sophie Drake told Bradford Crown Court that the couple had lived in the property for 30 years and the burglars had used a stone to smash their way in on a Saturday afternoon last February.
During the break-in sludge and sediment from two water butts was deposited outside the bungalow and the intruders made an untidy search of each of the rooms.
The burglars got away with jewellery, a lap-top and a camera and the female householder was described by her husband as being “devastated” when she saw the state of their home.
Stanton and the 14-year-old boy were linked to the offence after fingerprints, footwear marks and blood were left at the scene and the court heard that the younger burglar had received a referral order at the youth court.
Stanton ended up at the crown court because he turned 18 a few days before his first court appearance and his barrister Nigel Jamieson said his client had not enjoyed his time in custody.
He said Stanton had been a victim of bullying in the past and at the time of the offence he was said to have been influenced by “other gang members.”
Judge Durham Hall was told that Stanton had been assessed as vulnerable by a probation officer, who described the teenager as a follower rather than a leader.
The judge said he was very troubled that a respectable couple had had their home “invaded and trashed” and he indicated that he was making the community order with great hesitation and a feeling that the court was letting down law-abiding members of society yet again.
Judge Durham Hall said he accepted that Stanton had been bullied and was vulnerable and concluded that a “hard-hitting, effective community order” was appropriate in his case.
“I will tell you this Callum Stanton, if you reoffend you’ll be back very quickly in front of the court, the crown court, and me and you know I am very, very unhappy about your position,” said the judge.
“So I won’t forget it. I may very well lock you up if you come back again.”