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Lazenby man's crime spree followed friend's death
A MAN grieving the death of a friend went on a crime spree which has landed him two-and-a-half years behind bars.
Michael Townsend, 24, broke into two houses and a golf club after visiting the cemetery where his pal is buried.
Teesside Crown Court heard today (Thursday, February 28) that Townsend was offered some sleeping tablets and took them on his trip.
His lawyer, Andrew Turton, said he had missed his heroin treatment prescription and was "in a maudling state already".
Townsend stole a handbag, mobile phone and keys from one house in Wilton Village, and keys from another.
He also took a Peugeot car before breaking into the nearby golf club and greenkeepers' caravan and stealing a charity box, sweets, spoons and money.
Judge Les Spittle told the father-of-two: "It is a terrible thing to have your house burgled, to wake up in the morning and find someone has been inside and defiled your property."
Townsend, of High Street, Lazenby, east Cleveland, admitted three charges of burglary and asked for a fourth as well as a count of theft to be taken into account.