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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Carlisle gang took part in joyrides and raid

Four men who took part in night-time joyriding escapades – one of which left a member of their gang seriously hurt – have each been given jail sentences.

Paul Smith photo
Paul Smith

But three of the four were able to walk away from Carlisle Crown Court after Judge Paul Batty QC suspended their sentences.

Brendan Burke, prosecuting, described how on April 23 of last year a Carlisle pensioner discovered that his Nissan Micra had been taken.

It was driven to the Dalston area where the occupants then carried out a burglary at a stable block, stealing two chainsaws and three mountain bikes worth £5,000.

In court, Paul Smith, 22, of Dobinson Road, Raffles, Carlisle; Stuart Hardy, 23, of Redbank Terrace, Currock; and Todd Moore, 22, of Mardale Road, Raffles, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and burgling the stable block.

They were caught after staff at the John Street Hostel in Carlisle spotted one of the trio with the expensive mountain bike he had stolen and alerted the police.

The court also heard about a second aggravated vehicle taking without consent on May 13 last year, which involved Smith and another man, 29-year-old Jack Little, of Richmond Green, Morton.

Both men admitted the offences.

On that occasion, said Mr Burke, a Saab worth £6,500 was taken but was driven into a tree. Residents awoke to see two males fleeing from the scene, while a third man – later identified as Little – lying on the ground seriously injured.

David Wales, for Smith, said his client acknowledged that the time had come for him to “take his sentence like a man”, and that his eyes had been opened to just how dangerous his lifestyle had been.

Smith, whose crimes were said by the judge to represent an escalation of his offending, was jailed for two years.

Laura Nash, for Moore, said her client had taken on a caring role for his extended family and he was now a very different young man.

He was given 21 months, suspended for two years. He must pay the pensioner whose car was taken £132 compensation.

Philip Andrews, for Hardy, said: “For the first time, at the age of 23, he has got a job and can pay his way.”

He too was given a 21-month jail term suspended for two years, as well as a 10pm to 6am curfew for six months. He too must pay £132 compensation.

Mitigating for Little, Mr Andrews said he had spent three weeks in hospital and needed surgery to rebuild his injured leg. “He’s now a very different person in the dock today to the person who got into that motor vehicle on that night,” said Mr Andrews.

The judge imposed nine months in custody, suspended for two years, along with a 10pm to 6am curfew for six months, and a 12-month driving ban and 12 months supervision.

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