Judge said he 'wasn’t born yesterday' when Hartlepool man said he did not know electrical items worth £16,000 were stolen

A judge told a Hartlepool defendant he 'wasn’t born yesterday’ when he denied knowing goods were stolen.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 6:36 am

Phillip Harrison, 46, appeared at Teesside Crown Court for sentencing after admitting a charge of handling stolen goods.

Harrison, of Allerton Close, had put some of the items up for sale on Gumtree for £100, but the stolen goods were bespoke electrical items worth up to £16,000.

Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, said the items had been stolen from a van, parked outside a worker’s house in Hartlepool on September 10 last year.

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The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

He said: “The victim found the van had been broken into overnight on the driveway of his home address.”

He said high-value electrical items, including circuit boards, had been taken.

Mr Hadfield said on November 3 the victim saw three suitcases, which the items had been in, for sale on Gumtree for £100.

He said: “The police went to the defendant’s home address and Mr Harrison was there as were the electrical items and the suitcases.

“The defendant said he was effectively responsible, he had acquired them from a friend and wouldn’t disclose his friend’s details.

“He didn’t really know what the electrical items were. He took them from the cases and tried to sell the cases on Gumtree.”

The court heard that Harrison had a long criminal record.

Paul Cleasby, defending, said: “He has proved himself over the last 14 years of keeping himself out of trouble.”

He said he didn’t know the purpose of the electrical items and there had been no effort by him to sell them.

A spokesman for the probation service, said: “He says he is annoyed with himself for not realising these items were stolen and that his friend did not realise they were stolen.”

Mr Recorder Darren Preston said: “I accept that you didn’t know, or couldn’t have known, how much they were worth, but that’s the risk you take when handling stolen property.

“But, you weren’t born yesterday and neither was I, you knew full well when you were given those items they were stolen.”

Harrison was jailed for eight months, suspended for 12 months, and given a 12-month rehabilitation order.