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Burglar jailed after targeting Stockton mosque
A BURGLAR who targeted a flat above a pub and a mosque because he thought he would easily get away with it is behind bars.
Michael Scott, 34, selected the vulnerable places because of their lack of security, a judge at Teesside Crown Court said yesterday.
Twice in one day in January, he sneaked into the Muslim Welfare Trust centre in Stockton and took money from collection boxes.
At the time, he was on bail for stealing computer games from the flat and cellar of a pub in nearby Billingham the previous month.
Prosecutor Sue Jacobs said Scott, of Windmill Terrace, Stockton, tried to sell the ten PlayStation games at a second-hand shop.
He was jailed for two years and eight months by Judge Howard Crowson after he admitted four charges of burglary and one of fraud.
The judge told him: "The only possible way of dealing with you to ensure the public is protected is to make sure you are not at liberty."
Peter Wishlade, mitigating, provided the judge with a letter from Scott which told of his insight into the effect burglary has on victims.
The letter also revealed how he had discovered religion and sought help for alcohol and drug addiction while on remand in prison.
Mr Wishlade said Scott had stayed out of trouble and set up a handy-man business, but went off the rails at the end of last year.
He said he could not cope with the "catastrophic" news of not being the father to one of his ex-partner's children and his mother had cancer.
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