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Man who handled safe stolen from Brough home is spared prison

John McMeekin

A MAN who handled a safe which was snatched along with its sentimental and high value contents from a remote Cumbrian house has been sentenced.

Carlisle Crown Court heard today (TUES) how the isolated home at Brough, near Kirkby Stephen, was broken into on the morning of March 22, 2017, while the male occupant was briefly away from the property.

He returned to find that a safe had been stolen during the break-in. Its contents included £10,000 cash – earmarked for his retirement – and a prayer book he had been given to mark his christening in 1955.

“He finds the impact of the burglary to be upsetting,” prosecutor Colette Renton told the court. “He had suffered from ill health and was hoping to enjoy his retirement. This burglary has ruined his retirement and exacerbated his ill health.”

Within hours of the cruel crime, police found a car – which had been sighted close to the burgled address – abandoned in North Yorkshire. Broken parts of the safe were recovered from the vehicle, and found to contain John Joseph McMeekin’s DNA.

McMeekin, aged 27, was sentenced this afternoon having admitted handling stolen goods.

After hearing mitigation provided on behalf of the hard-working married family man, Judge James Adkin suspended a 10-month jail term for two years. Judge Adkin also ordered McMeekin, of High Street, Eldon Lane, Bishop Auckland, to complete 150 hours’ unpaid work.

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