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Thursday, 25 December 2014

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Jail for pair who stole from leisure centre changing rooms

Two men who stole from lockers in the changing rooms at the Sands Centre in Carlisle have been sent to jail.

Sands Centre photo
The Sands Centre, Carlisle

The men also took a car from the Sands car park after rifling through belongings in the lockers and stealing a rucksack containing keys to the vehicle, Carlisle magistrates heard.

Dean George Higgins, 30, and Andrew George Morris, 28, both from Carlisle, admitted stealing the car, rucksack and its contents on Sunday evening

Pam Ward, prosecuting, told Carlisle magistrates how Higgins, of Dowbeck Road, and Morris, of Finn Avenue, both in the Wigton Road area, went into the Sands to use the toilet.

As Morris went into the toilets, Higgins entered the ladies’ changing rooms. He left and went into the men’s rooms where he found an unlocked locker and took the rucksack.

The pair walked away from the centre and into a nearby underpass. Minutes later they were seen on CCTV coming back into the car park and driving off in a yellow MG ZR car.

Mrs Ward told the court that after being notified of the thefts of the rucksack and the car, police watched CCTV evidence and recognised Higgins. He was arrested at his home along with Morris, who had spent the night at his house.

Geoff Lockerbie, defending, said the theft was not planned. Higgins had a problem with alcohol and drugs and was hoping to seek assistance for this habit.

Higgins, who also admitted driving while disqualified and having no-insurance, was sentenced to 18 weeks in jail. He was also banned from driving for two years.

Morris, who has only recently been released from prison, was recalled to jail to serve the rest of his original term, which runs until January 21 next year. The court was told he went along with the theft from the locker rooms. He did not want to steal the car, but was a willing passenger.

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