A THIEF who stole three mobile phones in a burglary where the home owner was also attacked has avoided being sent to jail.

Recorder Craig Osborne heard how unemployed electrician Terence Tobin, aged 24, had gone with his brother Billy Tobin to a house in Wilmot Street, Halliwell, on June 8 last year.

Bolton Crown Court was told Billy Tobin wanted to confront David Lyons, whom he accused of interfering in his relationship with his girlfriend. Roger Brown, prosecuting, said the brothers kicked open the door to the house and Mr Lyons was punched and kicked.

During the incident, Terence Tobin went into the kitchen and saw three mobile phones belonging to Mr Lyons and two other women, together worth £260, which he stole. Tobin, aged 24, of Empire Road, Bolton, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to burglary.

Paul Lawton, defending, said Tobin only gone to the house to support his brother.

“There was never a plan to commit a dwelling house burglary. He acted spontaneously to take the three mobile telephones,” he said.

Tobin was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years, and was ordered to undertake 100 hours unpaid work with nine months supervision. He was also ordered to pay £260 compensation and £250 prosecution costs.

In an earlier hearing Billy Tobin was given a four-month suspended prison sentence for assault.