Homeless man betrayed Good Samaritan friend who helped him out by stealing £5,000 worth of equipment

News from the courts ANL-170911-154107001
News from the courts ANL-170911-154107001

A man who ‘betrayed’ a school friend who took him in when he was homeless by breaking into his house while he was out at work and stealing £5,000 worth of fishing equipment and other items, has been sent to Lincoln Crown Court to be sentenced.

Darren Lee Pearson, 50, of South Terrace, admitted burglary and theft when he appeared at Boston Magistrates Court.

Prosecuting, Jim Clare said Pearson and the homeowner had been friends at school and met up again in December when Pearson told him he had nowhere to live, so he allowed him to move into his Argyle Street home with him.

Mr Clare said Pearson even got a job on the land alongside his friend but in early April he told him he was leaving to go and see his daughter.

He said that on April 16, the homeowner left home at the usual time for work at around 4am and returned at about 11.30am, which Pearson would have been well aware off, to discover his house had been broken into.

Mr Clare said a neighbour had seen a man breaking into the house and had filmed him on his camera phone, which he showed to the victim, who recognised Pearson.

The police were informed and Pearson was arrested nearby, still with the stolen property.

Pearson told police he had gone round to see his friend but had found him out so had smashed a window with a brick he found and stole the equipment, together with some tobacco and cash.

Mr Clare said Pearson had a number of burglaries on his record, had also served a custodial sentence and had been cautioned by police for two offences of shoplifting just two days before the burglary.

He said Pearson had obviously gone to the property at a time when he knew the victim would be at work.

Mitigating, Michael Alexander said Pearson claimed it was ‘opportunistic’ and he had gone round to the house and found him out.

He said Pearson had been out of trouble since 2004, since when his wife had died, he had lost his job and his home and had started begging on the streets and had started taking drugs.

The magistrates rued that they had insufficient powers to sentence Pearson, as they had a maximum of six months, so he was sent to the Crown Court at Lincoln for sentence on a date to be arranged.

He was granted unconditional bail.