Burglar targeted his mum’s Portsmouth home and stole nine-year-old autistic brother’s Nintendo Switch

A BURGLAR who stole £50 from his mother’s home and took his nine-year-old autistic brother’s games console has been banned from contacting his mum.

Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 11:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 11:42 am
A view of Harleston Road in Paulsgrove in Portsmouth. Picture: Google

Portsmouth Crown Court heard how Declan Brooker, 24, got into his mum’s home in Harleston Road, Paulsgrove, through a first floor window.

Brooker took the cash and pawned the Nintendo Switch console for £150 - despite knowing his younger brother needing the console to help him cope with being outside.

Daniel Reilly, mitigating, told the court Brooker’s wages were being paid into his mum’s account as he had difficulties opening his own.

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A view of Harleston Road in Paulsgrove in Portsmouth. Picture: Google

Brooker, a father, had been facing a minimum three-year jail sentence as he had two previous convictions for burglary as a teenager.

Sentencing, judge William Ashworth said: ‘You burgled your mother’s house on July 10 last year. It’s not any mitigation but it’s an explanation that you have had an ambivalent relationship with your mother and at that time she was receiving money in an account really to assist you because you couldn’t get an account.’

Cash from Brooker’s work was paid into the account but he also had to pay back a debt to his mum.

The judge added: ‘There was a debt, she took some money - you took the view she had unreasonably taken some money from you and entered a first-floor window whilst everybody was out and stole £50, which is money from your mother but what really rankles is that you stole your brother’s Nintendo Switch.

‘Why is that such an awful thing to do? Because he was autistic and one of his coping mechanisms for a somewhat frightening world is to be able to have that with him when he goes out in public to distract him.


‘Taking that from your brother was a mean-spirited thing to do. However, the item itself was recovered fairly quickly.’

The judge added: ‘She’s had enough and it’s the constant anxiety of what you’re going to do next that’s really been upsetting here and your brother.’

Judge Ashworth imposed a 12-month community order with 25 days of rehabilitation activities, and a three-month curfew between 8pm-6.30pm.

A five-year restraining order bans Brooker, who had planned to buy back the Nintendo, from contacting his mother for five years or from going to her home.

Tearful Brooker, of Langley Road, Fratton, wept in the dock as details of his difficult childhood were given in court - including when as a young boy he was seriously injured but his mother was not in a state to take him to hospital.

He must pay £50 compensation to his mother and £150 to Cash Generator where he pawned the console.

Brooker, who has 28 convictions for 49 offences, admitted burglary on July 10 last year. His last conviction was in 2016 but for offences in 2013.