Man is jailed for threats to burglary victim

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A MAN who threatened to burn down a burglary victim’s house has been jailed.

Ronald Stead, 33, was standing trial at Teesside Crown Court accused of handling stolen goods, intimidation and driving while disqualified until he changed his plea to guilty.

The charges were in connection with a Vauxhall Astra that was stolen from Paul McManus after his Hartlepool home was burgled in April.

Stead eventually admitted threatening to kill Mr McManus and burn his house down in alleged abusive phone calls during the weekend after the burglary.

Mr McManus said Stead called him several times while claiming he was helping him to get his stolen car back.

Stead had been seen driving the stolen car in Milbank Road, Hartlepool, on Saturday, April 23.

Yesterday’s hearing also saw Stead admit to burgling a Peterlee plumber’s storage on April 17 and stealing a boiler worth £700.

Judge Peter Bowers sentenced Stead to 19 months in prison, including imposing a 10-month suspended sentence that he had breached, and disqualified him from driving for a further 18 months.

Judge Bowers told Stead: “Your biggest problem was that throughout the whole of this period you have been on a suspended sentence.

“There’s nothing been said by your representative that would stop me imposing that sentence.”

Tom Malarkey, mitigating, had told the court that his client had already “served a sentence” as he had spent eight months on remand.

Judge Bowers agreed that time will count towards his jail term.

Mr McManus told the court during the original trial: “I started getting phone call after phone call off Ronnie basically saying ‘what’s going on, I was doing you a favour?’

“I said stop phoning and I got abuse and threats.”

Stead, of Parton Street, Hartlepool, was never charged with the burglary.