Is this Hartlepool’s most prolific criminal?

Stephen Tobin outside of Hartlepool Magistrates Court at a previous appearance. Picture by FRANK REID
Stephen Tobin outside of Hartlepool Magistrates Court at a previous appearance. Picture by FRANK REID

A PROLIFIC Hartlepool criminal has left 200 victims in his wake as a judge was even left shocked by his disgraceful record.

The judge told Stephen Tobin he had the worst record she had ever seen as she jailed him for burglary.

Possibly the most unenviable record I have ever seen, which is saying something.

Recorder Amanda Rippon

Tobin’s criminal record runs to almost 40 long and includes an incredible 201 crimes and over 100 convictions.

Recorder Amanda Rippon told Tobin that behind every crime there lay a victim.

The 33-year-old was jailed for just under two-and-a-half years at Teesside Crown Court yesterday as he was sentenced for his third burglary of someone’s home.

Recorder Rippon said: “You have possibly the most unenviable record I have ever seen which is saying something.

“A print out of previous convictions runs to just shy of 40 pages.

“You have convictions for now 201 offences on 101 separate occasions.

“Each offence has a victim behind them.”

Prosecutor David Crook said: “He has a huge number of offences for dishonesty, interfering with people’s property, shop theft and none dwelling burglaries.”

In his latest burglary Tobin pleaded guilty to raiding the flat of a man who was living in the Seaton Hotel, on Seaton Carew front, on February 9.

He stole the victim’s laptop computer, computer bag, mobile phone and a coat, worth around £700 in total.

None of the property was ever found.

Tobin was captured on CCTV trying the doors for at least two other rooms without success.

He was quickly identified after police studied the footage and Tobin was arrested.

Mr Crook added: “In his impact statement the victim indicates he is very angry that a stranger entered his room and stole his possessions.”

Andrew Teate, mitigating, said Tobin’s record was due to a long-standing drug problem.

But he said Tobin, of The Front, Seaton Carew, had started to tackle it while in prison on remand and was serious for the first time about overcoming it.

Mr Teate asked the court to give him one last chance to kick his habit by passing a sentence that would let him remain free.

But Recorder Rippon said: “I have come to the conclusion I cannot find it would be unjust in the circumstances of your this offence not to impose the mandatory minimum sentence.

“This offence was unpleasant, it was determined.”

Tobin was jailed for a total of 876 days.