A teenager who ransacked a popular community café set-up for new mothers and their babies and burgled a day nursery has been jailed.
Joshua Sullivan pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary at Newcastle Crown Court earlier this month.
They relate to Tots Tea Rooms on Park Road in Wallsend on September 10 and Family Tree Children’s Day Nursery in High Howdon on November 11.
The 18-year-old has now been sentenced at the same court. He was jailed for a year.
As well as damaging the front windows at Tots Tea Rooms, Sullivan made off with a coffee grinder and cash – racking up a bill for more than £1,000 in damage and stolen goods.
An investigation was launched and CCTV from inside the café soon led officers to identify Sullivan as their main suspect.
He was arrested and later charged after a blood sample at the scene confirmed that he was the offender.
Sullivan, of no fixed address, was also ordered to pay Tots Tea Rooms more than £1,000 in compensation.
Sergeant Jill Hall, of the Wallsend Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This community café is a safe haven for many mums of babies and toddlers in the area, so I think it’s shocking that it would become a target for thieves.
“After the burglary, Tots Tea Rooms was forced to close its doors to customers until the damage could be repaired.
“This would have had a massive impact on service users – some of whom get support around mental health before and after having a baby.
“Thanks to the hard work of officers and community intelligence, we were able to secure enough evidence to bring the offender before the courts.
“I’m glad to see Joshua Sullivan has now been convicted at court and that the café can continue to provide a lifeline to local parents in the community.”