Three-strikes Hartlepool burglar faces going to jail

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A BURGLAR who is facing the minimum three-year jail sentence is claiming that it would be unjust to impose it.

Three-strikes burglar Stephen Tobin, 33, pleaded guilty to raiding a flat in the Seaton Hotel, Seaton Carew, but his lawyers have filed a special case for a lower sentence.

Tobin admitted the offence at Teesside Crown Court when he appeared over a video link from Hull Prison.

He will be sentenced by video link on April 2 after the judge granted an application by his lawyer Andrew Teate.

Mr Teate, who said he had submitted papers arguing that three years would be unjust, added Tobin was on a drug rehabilitation course at Hull and he did not want to lose his place by travelling to Middlesbrough to be sentenced.

The judge, Recorder Martin Bethel QC told Tobin: “I am remanding you in custody for sentence by video link.

“I hope that means you can stay where you are and can continue on your drug rehabilitation course.”

The judge added: “I must warn you that you can expect a three-year minimum sentence.”

Tobin, of The Front, Seaton Carew, pleaded guilty at a preliminary hearing to burglary on February 9 of a flat at the Seaton Hotel and theft of a laptop, coat and mobile phone charger.