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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Cumbrian thief claimed he tackled burglar

A thief claimed to be a hero after confronting a ‘burglar’ to get his friends’ property back – when he stole it in the first place.

By Victoria Brenan

Homeless Daniel McKay pretended to his friends - a couple who lived in a flat off London Road in Carlisle - that he had ‘saved’ their stolen iPad after recognising it in the street.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how he tried to make out that he had tackled a ‘burglar’ who had the iPad and returned triumphant to the flat.

In fact, McKay, who has been in court 12 times, had taken the mini iPad after spotting it when he stayed with the couple the night before. He tried to sell it at various money-lending shops but was unable to because it was password protected, the court heard.

Prosecutor Greg Hoare told the court how McKay, who was friends with the pair, had been at their flat in the early hours of October 28 before all three went out later in the day.

When the couple returned, they found someone had got in through a window and taken the iPad and its ‘distinctive’ red case.

They called police and the man went round money-lending shops in the city centre to see if anyone had tried to sell the iPad.

“He was in a phone shop and was told there had been someone in trying to sell it,” Mr Hoare said. “Not only could the man give an accurate description of McKay, he told the man he himself had been in the shop with him on an earlier occasion”.

McKay later returned to the flat with the iPad and said he had, by chance, seen someone in Close Street with the iPad and tackled them, he said.

“[He claimed] to be behaving in a very public spirited fashion, like many do in this city,” Judge Paul Batty QC said.

“In fact, he is no more than a common thief, a common burglar”.

McKay’s fingerprint was later found on the inside of the window frame and he was arrested.

McKay, who was jailed for two years and four months, committed a “particularly unpleasant” crime, the judge said.

The court heard how he committed his first burglary aged 13 and had suffered an “extremely difficult upbringing”.

Elizabeth Muir, defending, said he had spent the majority of his life in care after his mother was unable to look after him to drink and drugs problems.


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