Man admits handling stolen goods

A MAN has admitted handling stolen goods which were taken after a raid on a dressmaker’s shop.

Stephen Lee Gibson was arrested on another matter while wearing an army-style camouflage jacket which had been stolen from Seams Sew Easy, in Elwick Road, Hartlepool, six days earlier.

The 35-year-old’s home was searched and officers found another army-style jacket, along with charity sweets – which had also been stolen from the shop.

Prosecuting, Alan Davison said: “A burglary took place at a shop called Seams Sew Easy in late March.

“The perpetrators had kicked through plaster board and got inside and stolen camouflage jackets, charity sweets and cash.

“This defendant was later arrested on another matter and he was wearing an army-style jacket which linked him to the burglary.

“His home was searched, where he and his brother live, and another army-style jacket was found along with charity sweets.

“The jacket was returned to the shop, and the defendant was arrested.”

Gibson, of Baden Street, Hartlepool, admitted handling stolen goods on March 25.

Mitigating, David Smith told District Judge Martin Walker that his client had found the jacket and took it for his own use.

But Judge Walker intervened, saying: “Without being cynical, the sweet wrappers were found in his flat and it looks very much like he or his brother knew the burglar, if it wasn’t one of them.”

He sentenced Gibson to a six-month community order with supervision and a drugs rehabilitation requirement.

Back in March, the Hartlepool Mail reported how Seams Sew Easy owner Pam Brown was left fuming after the shop was broken into and as well as the charity sweets, a charity box, charity raffle cash and more than £400 in takings and deposits was stolen.

Pam, 55, who makes costumes for dozens of the town’s dance school pupils, as well as curtains and clothes alterations, had her business left in disarray when those responsible for the burglary even swiped a list on the wall, which detailed customers’ telephone numbers and what items they wanted making,

The grandmother-of-five, of Coniscliffe Road, appealed to customers through the Mail to contact her and re-supply her with their details.