A BURGLAR broke into a city centre office block and stole builders’ tools.

Sophie Keywood was among a group of up to four others who purloined power tools in Brighton.

They were caught on CCTV entering the Brinell Building in Station Street.

She was recognised by police on the footage, despite her attempts to hide her face using a piece of laminated card.

At Lewes Crown Court she admitted burglary and possession of cannabis when arrested.

The 21-year-old was spared an immediate spell behind bars, and was given a one-year suspended sentence.

Kris Berlevy, prosecuting, told the court four people broke into the seven-storey new office block in May last year.

Lewes Crown Court.

Lewes Crown Court.

Footage showed her inside the building, which was being kitted out as part of 65,000 sq ft of new office space.

He said Keywood was seen leaving the building via a secure fire door.

Later, she was recognised by police in October last year in the city centre and was arrested.

The items stolen included nine power drills, a jigsaw, and a work belt with drill bits.

Mr Berlevy said she has 11 previous convictions for 19 offences, including four burglaries including people’s homes.

She had broken a community order at the time of the incident.

Mr Berlevy said: “The burglary caused significant inconvenience for the owners of the tools who were unable to perform their work as a result of this offending.

“These items were taken when the defendant was a member of a group or gang.”

Steve Wedd, defending, said his client was only seen taking one item, the worker’s belt.

He said the other three suspects have not been identified, but said that “when the music stopped” it was his client that was the only one left standing.

He said Keywood, of Pelham Street, Brighton, has struggled with court orders because probation service staff keep changing.

Sophie Keywood was part of a gang who burgled The Brinell Building in Station Street, Brighton

Sophie Keywood was part of a gang who burgled The Brinell Building in Station Street, Brighton

Mr Wedd said Keywood is an “immature” adult who may have been “poorly parented”. When she became pregnant her child may have been taken into care by social services.

“She has issues with impulsivity, and fails to consider the consequences of making poor decisions,” he said.

Her Honour Judge Anne Arnold imposed the one-year suspended sentence, and ordered Keywood to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation sessions with the probation service.

She was put under a curfew for 41 days, and warned there would be no more excuses for not being sent to prison if she commits any further crimes.