A pair of burglars who stole booze and a till after they smashed their way into a pub won’t be sampling a tipple for a while after being jailed.

Stuart Blackburn and Martin Howe forced their way into the Lambton Castle pub and raiding the spirit shelf before stealing the till.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the pair cost the business £950 in lost takings and damage to property during the raid.

Ellen Wright, prosecuting, said council CCTV operators captured a number of males breaking into the premises.

“It shows Howe smashing a window and he is followed by another male,” she said. “Howe is seen going behind the bar as he is pulling up his hood and can be seen taking a number of bottles from behind the bar while another male is attempting to remove the till.

“A third male can be seen peering through the broken window while Stuart Blackburn can be seen outside the pub acting as a lookout.

“Blackburn helps the second male life the till through the window and then can be seen making off down the street with the stolen till alongside Martin Howe and the other two males.”

The Lambton Castle in StocktonThe Lambton Castle in Stockton (Image: Google)

Miss Wright said the CCTV operators directed police to the area where the suspects had headed after leaving the pub.

Blackburn, of Mitchell Avenue, Thornaby, and 51-year-old Howe, of Lunedale Road, Billingham, both pleaded guilty to burglary from January 9 this year.

Tom Bennett, representing 35-year-old Blackburn, said his client was on licence at the time of the offence for an unrelated matter and had indicated an early guilty plea.

While Nicci Horton, representing Howe, added that her client entered his guilty plea after watching the CCTV of the burglary.

She added: “His record is impressive to fellow criminals but less so to your Honour and he is aware of that.”

Judge Nathan Adams said: “You smashed a window to gain entry to the premises and you were seen to take alcohol and the cash register costing the business £950.

“Both of you have significant records for this sort of offending.”

Locking up Blackburn for ten months and Blackburn for nine months, he added: “I suggest that you both take a very hard think about whether or not you want to be bouncing back to prison every few months.”