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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

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Gang of young raiders targeted Carlisle social club

The oldest member of a four-strong gang of burglars who targeted the flat above a social club where they went for drinks has been jailed for 32 months.

But as Tjay O’Neil, 21, was led away to start his sentence, a judge told his teenaged accomplices that she would give them one last chance to lead a law-abiding life.

The group – one just 17, one 18, and the third 19 – were given community sentences after Judge Barbara Forrester warned them they could spend most of their adult lives in jail if they don’t change.

All admitted burglary.

Prosecutor Tim Evans described how O’Neil, Dean Smith, 19, and Ryan Greensmith, 18, were thrown out of Club Victoria in Victoria Place, Carlisle, by the police but they were then joined by the juvenile and went on to the city’s Fisher Street social club.

After checking their identification and being satisfied, the club steward served them drinks.

Noting that the club’s CCTV had not picked up the young men leaving the club, the steward checked upstairs to see if they had gone uninvited to private party on an upper floor. They were not at the party but the steward then checked his flat.

“He noticed that the door was open and appeared to be damaged,” said Mr Evans.

The victim then disturbed the four men, but they immediately fled, one clutching a bag.

“He was knocked to the ground, and couldn’t catch them,” said Mr Evans.

The steward was left with bruising to his legs and a cut to the head.

It was later found that the burglars had taken gold jewellery, aftershave and some Babycham.

Mr Evans outlined another violent incident involving O’Neil and the juvenile, who both admitted two counts of common assault on two 14-year-old schoolboys, and Jordan Morrison, 18, who admitted assaulting one of the boys.

Passing sentence, Judge Forrester told Greensmith, Smith, Morrison, and the 17-year-old defendant: “You have a clear choice to make.

“If you continue offending now, then you will do that until you are in your 50s or 60s, which now may seem a long time away.”


O’Neil, of Kingmoor Road, had expressed remorse, and used his time on remand constructively, his barrister said.

Smith, of Bracken Ridge, Carlisle, and Greensmith, of Kingmoor Road, had also used their time on remand in jail well and both had jobs. Both were given 24-month supervision orders and told to do 180 hours unpaid work.

Smith will face an overnight curfew and Greensmith must do a thinking skills and alcohol awareness courses.

Morrison, of Yewdale Road, Morton, was drunk, when he offended, said his barrister.

He was affected by grief following a family bereavement. He was told to do 180 hours of unpaid work.

The juvenile, whose barrister said he was affected by alcohol and peer pressure, was given a 12-month youth rehabilitation order, with a three-month overnight curfew and told to complete various courses to address his offending behaviour.


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