Judge gives teacher top marks for detaining burglar who broke into his Bulwell home

A teacher returned from a Friday night out to find a drunken burglar ransacking his Bulwell home, a court heard.

Jamie Rooke ran into the house, shouting for help, and grabbed the intruder as he fled outside and tried to escape by climbing a wall.

Mr Rooke and a neighbour, Oliver Raynor, then forcibly restrained him until the police arrived.

Appearing before Nottingham Crown Court was Luke Lacey (25), of Bradwell Drive, Top Valley, who pleaded guilty to burglary.

Judge Gregory Dickinson sentenced Lacey to 22 months in jail after hearing that he had committed two previous break-ins.

Mark Achurch (prosecuting) told the court that this one took place at Bedford Grove just after midnight on 14th November when Lacey forced open some patio doors at the back.

He left the house “in a real mess”, said Mr Achurch. Every draw and cupboard had been emptied, and every pocket of clothing had been gone through.

Ready to be taken away were a laptop and computers, and a holdall full of stolen property.

Lacey had also left on a gas hob in the kitchen after lighting a cigarette. “Property strewn around the kitchen could easily have caught fire,” said Mr Achurch.

The court heard that, when interviewed by the police, the defendant claimed he had been assaulted in the struggle to apprehend him.

It was said he committed the burglary because he was “desperate for new clothes and trainers, and needed food”.

He had left his family home that day after a domestic dispute and claimed his mum and dad “were doing nothing for him”.

However, in court, his barrister, William Bennett (defending), said Lacey now blamed nobody but himself and had even written a letter of apology to Mr Rooke, saying he was “ashamed” of what he had done.

“He was robustly challenged and taken to the floor, but he accepts he got his just deserts,” said Mr Bennett.

The judge read probation reports, which revealed that Lacey had been on medication for depression and had a history of self-harming and suicidal feelings.

“He has been in a complete mess for a while, taking drink on top of prescription drugs,” added Mr Bennett.

The judge told Lacey: “It is sad to see you wasting your life and risking your future. But it is no good blaming your family or anyone else. You have to take responsibility for your own life.

“You broke into this man’s house. He tried to detain you. Good for him.”