Drunk burglar is caught on camera trying to climb over a garden fence

Darren Thomas breaking into the home of Christopher Hancock
Darren Thomas breaking into the home of Christopher Hancock

This is the moment a drunk burglar was caught on camera by an eagle-eyed homeowner as he fled over a garden fence.

Darren Thomas was trying to break in through the kitchen window of a property which was just around the corner from his own home.

But the 38-year-old did a runner after he was spotted by owner Chris Hancock, 27, who had just returned back to his house.

Darren Thomas breaking into the home of Christopher Hancock
Darren Thomas breaking into the home of Christopher Hancock

The quick-thinking teacher dashed outside and managed to snap the con as he fled over a fence and off through neighbouring gardens in Ronkswood, Worcester.

Police officers saw the photo and recognised Thomas who was arrested later the same day.

The dim-witted criminal – who appeared in court on crutches – admitted attempted burglary and resisting a police officer in the execution of his duty.

But he was spared jail by JPs at Worcester Magistrates’ Court on Friday and sentenced to five months in prison suspended for two years.

Thomas, of Worcester, was also placed under supervision for two years, ordered to undergo alcohol treatment for 12 months and placed on an electronic curfew between 7pm and 7am.

And the dad was ordered to pay #100 compensation to his victim as well as an #80 victim surcharge.

District judge Nigel Cadbury said: “If you had already broken in and were caught inside the house by the householder with that record, you would be going to prison immediately.”

Prosecutor Clare Linehan said Thomas was spotted trying to remove the beading from the kitchen window on April 28 this year.

She added: “The householder came home and there was a confrontation, albeit through a window.

“They had come back to let the dog out. As he walked into the kitchen he saw a man at the window and he realised he was trying to break in to his property.”

Speaking about when Thomas resisted arrested, Mrs Linehan said: “He started to resist, pulling his arms away and tried to get back into his home address.”

Judith Kenney, defending, told JPs Thomas had turned to drink after he lost his job as an auditor and his 18-year marriage collapsed.

She added: “On the defendant’s own admission he was trying to get the beading off the window with a multi-tool for a child’s bike when having been spotted he garden hops to get away.

“He admitted this offence from the word go in the police station. He was ashamed and mortified by what he had done.

“He was only not co-operative (with the arrest) because his children had been upset.”

Chris said yesterday: “I just acted instinctively and luckily the picture helped police find him.”


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