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  1. ITV Report

'Dozy' burglar found sleeping in ransacked nightclub

Drunk Trevor Palmer fell asleep at the scene of the crime. Photo: NCJ Media
Trevor Palmer. Credit: NCJ Media

A dozing burglar was caught in the act when he was found sleeping behind the bar of the nightclub he’d broken into.

Drunk Trevor Palmer and three others were captured on CCTV gaining entry to the Basement Club, in Sunderland, in the early hours of the morning after the premises had closed for the night.

The men were seen to ransack the pub and use metal implements to smash their way into a safe and steal the contents before three of the four made off.

However, the whole incident seemed to take it out of Palmer, who decided to bed down for the night behind the bar, Newcastle Crown Court was told.

Staff discovered the club had been broken into the next morning and soon discovered the sleeping 25-year-old.

Now, Palmer, of Perth Road, Plains Farm, in Sunderland, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after he admitted two counts of non-dwelling burglary relating to the Basement Club and a separate incident where he broke into McDonald’s and stole straws, cookies and a high-visibility jacket.

Emma Dowling, prosecuting, said staff at the Basement Club left for the night at around 2am on October 9, 2017, and Palmer and three associates were caught on CCTV entering the premises 50 minutes later.

All four were seen to make their way with “metal implements” to an office area and repeatedly hit a safe.

The defendant joins in with the metal implements and strikes the safe a number of times.

The next morning, staff are alerted to the fact there has been a burglary at 8am. The manager of the premises is called and he goes around the premises and this defendant is actually asleep inside.

He’s taken outside by staff members where a photograph is taken of him still asleep.

– Emma Dowling, prosecuting

Having heard the case, Judge Stephen Earl said: “So, the defendant seems to have just bunkered down for the night behind the bar.”

The court was told a computer, a hard drive, sound equipment, £300 cash from a bandit machine and alcohol were stolen during the burglary.

Ms Dowling added: “In addition, there was £9,000 of damage caused as the safe was, in the end, opened. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to have contained that, which they were looking for.

“There was also an element of ransacking and throwing things around.”

In relation to the McDonald’s burglary, the court heard that Palmer and a female associate had broken into a branch of the fast food giant in Ryhope, in Sunderland, in the early hours of October 3 last year.

He again was caught on CCTV, this time smashing a window in the Drive Thru and stealing straws, cookies and a high-visibility jacket.

The pair were spotted by police nearby a short time later with Palmer’s associate still wearing the brightly coloured clothing.

Alec Burns, mitigating, said, since being in custody Palmer, who has 55 past convictions for 94 offences, had used his time constructively.

He added: “The offence in McDonald’s was low value.

In the club, he doesn’t remember attacking the safe. He was drunk and, given the state he’s in when he’s found the next morning when he’s difficult to rouse, that would be supported.

– Alec Burns, mitigating