Blyth burglar sprayed tomato sauce around home during "bizarre" raid

A burglar sprayed tomato sauce around the living room of a family home during a "bizarre" raid.

By Court Reporter
Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 5:42 pm
Shaun Potter.
Shaun Potter.

Shaun Potter crept into the victim's house through an unlocked door, drank wine and then attacked the fixtures and fittings with ketchup.

Newcastle Crown Court heard he squirted the sauce on the door, ceiling, sofas and mirror in the living room.

The devastated victim, who had worked hard to build up a nice family home for her son, was left so distressed and scared by the unprovoked attack she wanted to move house.

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The tomato sauce stained damage caused by Shaun Potter.

Prosecutor Helen Towers told the court the mum had burst into tears when she saw the state of her home.

Miss Towers added: "He sprayed tomato sauce around the living room, on the door, ceiling, sofas and mirror.

"While in the premises, he consumed an open bottle of wine from the house."

The victim, who knew Potter through his former partner and had got on with him in the past, said in a statement shortly after the burglary: "I'm so upset.

"I have a four-year-old son and I've spent years building this house up for him.

"I don't feel safe here and can't live her anymore. My personal space has been invaded and I can't risk my son's safety.

"I've been left out of pocket and this was a completely unprovoked and unnecessary attack."

Potter, 32, of Cowpen Road, Blyth, whose previous convictions including assaults, admitted burglary and criminal damage.

He also pleaded guilty to a separate battery offence on his former partner.

Recorder Mark Giuliani sentenced him to a two year community order with 100 hours unpaid work.

The judge said the break-in was "bizarre behaviour" but despite a pre-sentence report saying there was a relatively high risk of Potter offending again, told him: "You have said you want to change and this is your opportunity to change."

Liam O'Brien, defending, said the burglary was a "nasty, mean" offence but claimed he had demonstrated remorse.

He added: "It was senseless, there's no reason for it other than drink."