Prison for man who stole from elderly

A MEMBER of a Liverpool gang who burgled the home of two Scarborough pensioners has been jailed for five and a half years.

Mark Hughes was one of three men said to have travelled over The Pennines in a stolen car with false registration marks on July 30, last year.

While the gang were in Scarborough they entered two homes; one of an 81-year-old woman in Wheatcroft Avenue and the other at the home of an elderly disabled woman in Tricourt.

Two days later the thieves were still in the Scarborough area and spotted by police outside a store in Edgehill Road.

Realising they had been seen, Hughes and the other men ignored requests to stop, entering the shop and hiding the keys from the stolen vehicle behind goods on a shelf.

Hughes, 24, who has a criminal record including 87 previous offences mainly for dishonesty and including seven burglaries, initially denied involvement.

But, after receiving an indication on the day of his trial from The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, about what sentence he could expect, Hughes changed his pleas to the two burglary charges and one of handling stolen goods, to guilty.

Brendan Carville, mitigating, said that his client realised that he was facing a substantial sentence.

He added that over the years his client had nearly always immediately admitted his offending, but this time he hadn’t because “the penny appears to have dropped” that his offending is just going to lead to longer and longer sentences.

The court heard that two other Liverpudlians are due to appear before the court in connection with the offences.