Suspended sentence for thief

A THIEF has avoided jail after admitting stealing a satellite navigation system from a doctor’s car as part of a crime spree.

Hartlepool man Nathan Douglas, 21, appeared before town magistrates after admitting breaking into vehicles over a period of 10 days.

One of them saw a sat-nav belonging to Dr Pundarik Banerjee, of The Practice, in Horden, stolen from a location in Hartlepool.

By committing the offences, Douglas was in breach of a community order imposed last month for three criminal damages, a burglary and a public order offence from August.

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Billy Guerin re-sentenced Douglas to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, for the three previous offences, with a further four weeks for the thefts.

Douglas was also made subject to an 18-month supervision order with a 12-week curfew from 7pm-7am and made to pay £85 costs.

Prosecuting, Lilian Atkinson told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court: “On September 3, a Renault Megane was parked on Stockton Road and the vehicle had its windows broken and the vehicle was searched.

“Information was received that this defendant, along with a co-accused were responsible and subsequently arrested.

“A search was carried out at their home addresses and items were recovered including a rotary hammer drill and two sat-navs.

“The defendant was interviewed and admitted the offence.

“He said they had stolen the property from vehicles over the last 10 days prior to their arrest.”

Ms Atkinson said all the property had been recovered and returned to their owners.

Douglas, of Hurworth Street, admitted two counts of theft from a motor vehicle between August 27 and September 3.

A further theft from a vehicle was asked to be taken into consideration when sentencing.

John Relton, mitigating, said: “Much of his offending has been in the company of others, it’s more of a nuisance than for any financial gain.”

He said Douglas is a man who is “heavily-policed but sometimes that’s without justification and he finds himself somewhat depressed about his lot”.