Bungling burglar floored by charity box

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A BUNGLING burglar was caught out when he got hit in the face by a charity box as he tried to raid a shop.

Lincoln Crown Court heard how Gosberton man Paul Mason’s smash and grab raid turned into a slapstick comedy in a hearing on Friday.

Mason (31), of High Fen, Gosberton, carefully covered his face with a bandanna and wore a hoodie in a bid to avoid being identified as he targeted the House of Cards shop in Lincoln’s Bailgate.

Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said having concealed his face from nearby CCTV cameras Mason went on to smash the front window of the shop. He then reached inside and grabbed hold of a charity box.

Things then began to go wrong for him. The charity box was one of four tied to a security chain which was attached to a plastic display stand.

The boxes shot out of the window striking him in the face and knocking him to the ground.

Mr Scott said Mason abandoned the boxes at the scene and made off but his suspicious behaviour had already attracted the attention of CCTV operators. Police were called out and he was arrested nearby.

Officers found a small amount of cannabis on him together with a craft knife.

Mason admitted charges of burglary, possession of cannabis and possession of a knife as a result of the incident in November.

He was given an eight-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay £530 compensation to the shop proprietor.

Neil Sands, defending, said the incident happened a couple of months after Mason was released from serving a six-year jail term for armed robbery.

“He served the entirety of the six-year sentence and came out to nothing.

“This matter arose three months afterwards. There was an almost comedic element with the boxes flying out of the window, hitting his head and knocking him to the ground.”

Mr Sands said that Mason has since obtained work as an odd job man on a caravan site which gives him both accommodation and an income.