Sutton shed burglar rugby-tackled and beaten up by owner

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A Sutton thief was rugby-tackled and beaten up by the owner of the garden shed he was trying to burgle, a court has heard.

Richard Gary Coker, 40, of Barnes Crescent, admitted burglary with intent to steal, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court on Thursday.

The court heard Coker and an accomplice were disturbed when the owners of the house on Bloomer Wood View, Sutton, returned home at around 7.40pm on October 31.

Ruth Snodin, prosecuting, said: “He saw the owners coming and sounded the alarm and tried to run, but he was caught.

“He told police that he was just the look-out. He said he met a friend in town, who he didn’t name, and they planned to break into sheds.”

Coker’s accomplice escaped, the court heard.

Chris Perry, mitigating, said: “He had some pretty terrible facial injuries and was taken to hospital. Some summary justice was visited on him.”

He said Coker had “a very long history of drug misuse” and had sought help to beat his problem, switching to a substitute for heroin.

Sarah Alderton, of the probation service, said Coker planned to sell whatever he found in the shed to fund his drug habit.

She said he had returned to heroin after a relationship breakdown and injected £10 of the drug per day.

She said: “He said he needs to get a grip of his life, in his own words, and address his drug misuse.”

Coker was given an 18 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, with ten days of rehabilitation activity and a six month drug rehabilitation requirement.

He was ordered to pay £100 compensation for the damaged shed and £85 court costs.