Burglars jailed for night raid

Harrogate Magistrates Court
Harrogate Magistrates Court

TWO men who broke into a Scarborough home as the householder and his 75-year-old father slept have been sent to prison.

Carl Smith, 24, of West Bank in Falsgrave, and Benjamin Stanley, 23, of Gildercliffe in Barrowcliff, also stole the victim’s car keys, drove off in his vehicle and damaged it beyond repair, along with two other men who police have never traced.

Smith and Stanley were each sentenced to 15 months in prison with Recorder Stuart Brown QC saying they had committed a “very serious burglary,” which took place at around 11:30pm on January 24 in Beechville Avenue, off Dean Road.

Sobia Ahmed, prosecuting, said: “The complainant lives at the property with his 75-year-old father.

“A neighbour, whose address overlooks Beechville Avenue, was woken by a security light.

“He saw four people in the rear garden of the complainant’s address. They were all young males.

“One was having a go at the rear window and another was on a ledge trying to gain entry through a garage window.”

Two men got into to the home through a living room window and then opened the back door.

After calling the police, the witness then saw the headlights of the victim’s Volvo V70 come on and the car drive away.

The vehicle, which was worth £3,200, was later found abandoned by police in the Forge Valley area. It had a smashed front wheel and bent front and rear axles. Insurers wrote the car off.

A satellite navigation device went missing from the vehicle and has never been found.

Both Smith and Stanley pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking and burglary.

Stanley, who told police he had been behind the wheel of the stolen car, also admitted driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and driving with no insurance.

The men were found after a taxi driver picked them up in Racecourse Road. He noted that both were soaking wet and became suspicious. One of the men said he could not pay the fare and left his mobile phone with the driver.

Police traced Stanley and Smith after the taxi driver reported his suspicions and told them where the men lived. They refused to reveal the identities of the other two men. Both Smith and Stanley had previous convictions for burglary.

Allan Armbrister, who represented Stanley, pointed out that his client had voluntarily told police he had driven the car.

Nicoleta Alistari, for Smith, said her client had expressed remorse. “It is clear this young man fell in with the wrong crowd,” she added. “He was going along with what others were doing in an unwise and idiotic way.”

As well as the 15 month prison term, both men were banned from driving for a year.