Four month sentence for thief who looted newly-opened Heaton restaurant

The new restaurant owners were left ‘devastated’ by the burglary in April

A burglar who left a newly-opened Heaton restaurant 'devastated' by stealing £1,000 of kit has been jailed.

The owners of Punto Italian Kitchen were left heartbroken when their restaurant was looted by shameless thief Andrew Charleston.

Security footage shows the 25-year-old rummaging around inside the restaurant before damaging the security shutter and rear door, and then fleeing the scene.

Owners reported the crime on April 1, 2022 and within 12 hours, Charleston has been located, arrested and charged for his crime.

The thief, of Shields Road, Byker, was jailed for four months at Newcastle Magistrates' Court earlier this month after previously pleading guilty to burglary.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Dave Lumsden from the Force’s Central Burglary Team said: “This is a great result which goes to show that the criminal justice system will not tolerate offences of this nature.

Andrew Charleston
Andrew Charleston
Andrew Charleston

“Burglaries can have a significant impact on victims and in this case, it had a profound impact on the owners of a new business. The restaurant was trying to get off the ground and thanks to Charleston, they lost a substantial amount of stock and saw their premises damaged.

“We are thankful to Punto’s team for their cooperation with the investigation – their CCTV footage helped us to swiftly identify the person responsible and within 12 hours he was charged and ready for court.

“I would like our communities to know that we are committed to doing all we can to tackle this type of criminality and will work hard to bring offenders to justice.”