A man who worked as a look-out for a burglar who raided a Peterborough home has avoided being sent to prison.
Robert Read (20) kept watch while another burglar used a paving slab to smash their way into the home in Horseshoe Way, Hampton on May 3 last year.
Yesterday (Thursday) Read, of Tait Close, Peterborough, appeared at Peterborough Crown Court, where he was given a 38 week prison sentences, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to burglary at a previous hearing.
John Farmer, prosecuting, said : “The householder was out between 7.30am and 4.20pm. When he returned he found glass on the floor - the burglar hadgot in through the patio window, using a paving slab.
“There was a thorough search of the property, and the burglar had stolen selectively.”
Items taken included games consoles, jewellery and other electrical items.
The court was told Read had a number of previous convictions, but none for burglary.
David Corbino, defending, said: “His role was as a lookout. He says he did not enter the property, or cause the damage.
“He pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
“He has some previous, but nothing for burglary, and has kept out of trouble since May last year.
“He has significant mental health issues, and needs a significant amount of support.
“He is an impressionable young man. He is easily led by negative influences and peers. “He has been living at a hostel, and is desperate to leave. The reason he assisted in the offence was to raise funds to obtain private accommodation.
“A custodial sentence would cause more harm than good.”
Judge Sean Enright, sentencing, said: “This case is so serious only custody can be justified. But there are significant mental health difficulties that make it desirable to look for an alternative.”
Read was also ordered to take part in probation activity requirements.