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Regional editor’s home ransacked by party gatecrashers

Jewellery and other items were stolen as a teenage house party spiralled out of control – at the home of a regional daily editor.

Peter Barron (pictured), editor of the Northern Echo, was on holiday with his wife Heather celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary when dozens of young revellers descended on their home in Hurworth, near Darlington, for a party organised by one of his children.

Jewellery, cosmetics and perfume were among the goodies nabbed by the thieves at the party, which took place on June 21.

The Echo has now published the story as a warning to other parents whose children may be planning parties while they are away.

Father-of-four Peter told HTFP he felt there was a “strong public interest” in publishing what had happened to him, to serve as a warning to others.

“My job is persuading other people to tell their story – it would have been double standards for me not to allow my reporters to tell a story which has news value,” he said.

“There was a police investigation going on and they wanted to run an appeal for the stolen items, so for me to reveal it was my house was the right thing to do. We should treat ourselves the way we treat other people.

“It would have been hypocritical of me to keep it out of the paper I think. There is a strong public interest in warning other parents. You don’t think it is going to happen to you, but things really can get out of control so easily.”

He said the jewellery stolen, which included a pearl necklace, earrings, and bracelet, were mostly just of sentimental value – but said there were also some more valuable items, including heirlooms passed down from Heather’s late mother.

“It was organised with innocent intentions – our kid just invited a few friends around and a few wrong ‘uns got in,” Peter added.

“It wasn’t a massive party, there weren’t hundreds of them around. But it just got out of control.

“There was a lot of mess but they had tidied it all up by the time we got back. They didn’t know anything had been stolen until we noticed the missing items.”

Peter has agreed to deal with the theft using the ‘restorative justice’ system – which means those responsible would not face criminal charges as long as they hand the items in to police and apologise to the family directly.

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  • July 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Restorative justice? Yobs ransack your home and, if caught, they just have to say sorry. How trendy and utterly pathetic.

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