Ipswich: Burglar found on sofa at The Malthouse claimed he was seeking refuge from cold after blind date in town

The Malthouse in Ipswich

The Malthouse in Ipswich

A 40-year-old man was discovered on a sofa of an Ipswich nightclub after breaking in and drinking alcohol belonging to the venue, a court has heard.

Alexander Crossley, of The Drift, Fornham St Martin, was found guilty at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court of a charge of burgling The Malthouse in Princes Street on July 9.

The defendant, who had denied the charge, told the court he had wanted to “seek refuge from the cold” as, following a blind date in Ipswich, he realised he had no money and his phone was missing.

Malthouse member of staff Andrew Collins, who called the police, found evidence of a break-in at the club when he turned up at about 7.50am and discovered Crossley on a sofa inside.

While admitting breaking in, Crossley said he would not have intended to steal anything, but CCTV showed him trying the beer pumps – which were turned off – and that he had cans of beer in his possession.

Crossley, who had also drunk alcohol on his date, said: “If it’s true from the CCTV, I can only humbly apologise at this point. I may be a lot of things. I’m not a thief.”

Following a trial, magistrate Sarah Wenban said: “We do find it was your intention to break in, to find somewhere to sleep. The place you chose you had to force entry and once you found it wasn’t derelict you still stayed so the trespass is proven.”

Crossley is also accused of damaging an alarm box – racking up a bill of about £6,000 – and damaging fence panels. Three cans of Guinness were found to be missing.

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The defendant said: “I feel quite ashamed and embarrassed I’m here today.”

He has been released on unconditional bail to appear back in court on December 3 after a probation report has been completed.