Scarborough burglar broke into house hours after coming out of prison - but left empty-handed

Andrew Wright was sentenced at York Crown Court
Andrew Wright was sentenced at York Crown Court

A burglar celebrated his release from prison by going on a drugs binge and breaking into a home in Scarborough, where he ransacked the place and threw cocoa powder, cupboards and toys all over the floor.

Andrew James Wright, 34, was so intoxicated during the crazed wrecking spree that, despite sacking the two-bedroom semi-detached property, he left empty-handed, York Crown Court heard.

He left behind a trail of destruction that absolutely horrified the homeowner who returned the following morning to find her house on Barrowcliff Road in a complete mess, said prosecutor

Stephanie Hancock.

Wright, who has previous convictions for violence and burglaries at commercial premises, targeted the property in the dead of night while the victim was staying with relatives.

Literally hours after he had been released from prison, he sneaked into the garden by damaging a lock on the back gate, then got into the house through an unlocked back door.

“Once inside, he ransacked all the rooms on the ground floor and threw clothes, toys, cupboards and other items over the floor space,” said Ms Hancock.

Just for good measure, Wright went out into the garden and threw outdoor children’s toys into the house.

“He then opens a tin of cocoa powder from the kitchen and scattered that around the floor of the living room,” added Ms Hancock.

“He moved a recently-purchased TV from the corner of the room to the sofa, damaging it in the process.”

Police managed to trace Wright after identifying him through fingerprints left on the broken TV and cocoa tin. He was hauled in for questioning but told officers he had no recollection of the incident “due to the drugs he had taken”, said Ms Hancock.

“He denied the allegations, saying he wouldn’t have done something like that, but as soon as the fingerprint evidence was put to him, he said it must have been him and said he was sorry,” she added.

Wright, from Scarborough but of no fixed address, admitted burglary with intent to steal and appeared for sentence via video link on Wednesday. He is currently serving a 27-month prison term in Hull Prison for assault occasioning actual bodily harm following a violent incident in which he broke a man’s jaw.

The court heard that Wright was a prolific shoplifter with 37 previous convictions for 78 offences including burglary, theft and breaching court orders.

Ms Hancock said that on or around the day of the burglary in Scarborough on October 12 last year, Wright targeted other properties in the area, stealing garden ornaments and items from sheds. He was arrested for those four offences and sentenced to 10 months in prison a week later, but at that stage the courts were unaware he had also burgled the house on Barrowcliff Road.

Wright served half of the 10-month sentence behind bars but soon got himself in trouble again after his release earlier this year, when was convicted of ABH after punching a love rival in the face.

He was given a 27-month jail sentence at the Crown Court in April after pleading guilty to causing harm without intent on the day of trial.

Defence barrister Robert Mochrie said that at the time of the burglary in October, Wright had “indulged in a drug binge the very day he was released (from prison)”.

Judge Simon Hickey said it “must have been particularly distressing” for the victim to find her home had been ravaged while she was away, adding: “There was significant soiling and ransacking of the property.”

Jailing Wright for eight months, he told the defendant: “You are described, rightly, as a prolific offender.”

The eight-month sentence - of which Wright will serve half behind bars - will run consecutively to his existing 27-month jail term for ABH.