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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Cumbrian man tackles drunk burglar

A man returning to his flat at midnight came face to face with a drunken burglar.

The man, who works in a Turkish restaurant, realised something was amiss when he noticed the front door of his flat in Duke Street, Workington, was open.

He heard noises coming from inside and then, as he cautiously made his way in, met 20-year-old would-be soldier Nathan Lancaster coming out.

The man tried to grab the intruder, then chased him down the street until he was able to alert a policeman, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

Lancaster was found soon afterwards in an alleyway off Corporation Road “clearly under the influence of drink and/or drugs,” prosecutor Dick Binstead said.

It was only later discovered that he had made “an untidy search” of the flat and would have stolen the man’s home cinema system, if he had not been disturbed before he was able to dismantle it.

The court heard that when interviewed by police Lancaster, of Brierydale, Salterbeck, claimed he had gone into the flat to check that everything was all right after finding the door open.

Lancaster pleaded guilty to burglary and was sent to a young offenders’ institution for 18 months.

Defence barrister Rod Halligan said Lancaster had been so drunk he could remember nothing of what he had done.

“What seems quite clear is the problem he has with drink,” he said.

Mr Halligan said the time Lancaster had spent in custody on remand had been “a real eye-opener” for him.

He said it was now “out of the question” for Lancaster to pursue his dream of joining the Army.

Judge Peter Hughes QC jailed Lancaster for 16 months for the burglary, and in addition ordered him also to serve two months of a sentence for drug dealing which had previously been suspended.

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