Raider who ransacked a further education centre is jailed - after dropping blood-stained tissue at the scene
06 Feb | 10:47

Anthony Kirtley, 30, left the company with an £8,000 repair bill as a result of the Wearside burglary

A raider who ransacked a further education centre has been jailed – after he dropped a blood-stained tissue at the scene.

Anthony Kirtley left Learning Curve Group’s construction academy in Sunderland with a repair bill totalling more than £8,000 after smashing his way inside and stealing computer equipment and joinery tools.

The shameless intruder trashed a number of rooms and pulled CCTV cameras off the ceiling during the night of destruction on August 12 last year, which resulted in the training provider having to cancel classes and close its doors to students for three days.

But the brash 30-year-old inadvertently left behind a blood-stained tissue and a cupboard door smeared with his DNA at the premises on Pallion Industrial Estate.

He admitted the offence last month (January 10) when appearing before magistrates in South Tyneside. Yesterday (Wednesday) a judge sentenced him to two years behind bars at Newcastle’s Moot Hall.

PC Sophie Harkness, of Northumbria Police, welcomed the custodial sentence and said Kirtley should be “ashamed” of his actions.

“This was an appalling crime which caused a huge amount of damage, distress and inconvenience to many people,” PC Harkness said.

“Kirtley showed a total disregard for the law and his community as he smashed his way into the centre, which is used by ambitious students to better themselves by learning new skills and gaining qualifications.

“By ransacking the building, ripping items off the walls and stealing thousands of pounds of electronic goods, he deprived others of key educational materials and a number of sessions had to be cancelled because of the extent of the damage.

“In his haste to get away with his crime, Kirtley left behind a tissue stained with his blood which allowed our forensic experts to prove his guilt. He should be ashamed of what he did and I hope those concerned can take some consolation knowing he is now behind bars.”

In a statement, Leanne Kennedy, skills academy manager at Learning Curve Group, said the burglary impacted on the company in a number of ways.

She said: “The Learning Curve Group was closed for three days due to the mess and unsafe state the building was in which affected several students that attend for construction training and education.

“The incident also resulted in many members of staff losing days of teaching and instead (spent time) fixing the damage caused and tidying the centre, as it was not in a workable condition.”

Kirtley also admitted a separate burglary in relation to a burglary at flat on Lyndhurst Terrace on August 6 last year.

He now begins a two-year term in jail.

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