Teenager admits roof lead theft

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AN ELDERLY, house proud, Scarborough couple were left distressed after youths ripped lead flashing from their home.

York Crown Court heard the two youths were seen by a neighbour of the couple on May 17 last year, pulling off the flashing and rolling it up.

Recognising one of the youths and realising that the pair did not have any proper tools, including a ladder, the neighbour contacted the police.

When Liam Watson, 18, was quizzed by the police about the incident, he at first denied involvement.

However, he went on to tell officers that it couldn’t have been him because he was stealing lead from the roof of the Trafalgar pub only a few hundred yards away from the couple’s home in Columbus Ravine.

Michelle Stewart-Lofthouse, prosecuting, told the court that Watson, of North Marine Road, Scarborough, later admitted handling the lead from the pub roof and to having been on the couple’s roof.

Watson, who is currently serving a detention and training order imposed by Scarborough magistrates on other offences, including escaping from lawful custody, appeared before the York court for sentencing having previously admitting the attempted theft of the couple’s lead.

Watson, who has 24 previous convictions, also asked for two other offences of stealing lead from domestic properties in the Scarborough area to be taken into consideration.

Passing a six-month sentence in a young offenders institute, the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said that if Watson continued to offend on his release he would be facing longer and longer sentences.

Adding that he had little faith that Watson would stop offending, the judge said that this would lead to the fulfilment of Watson’s expressed wish to spend longer times in custody, something which he found “deeply depressing”.

The custodial sentence will be served concurrently with the current 16-month order imposed by Scarborough magistrates who, said Judge Ashurst, had obviously finally run out of patience with Watson.

Ben Campbell, mitigating, said his client admitted that he had been up to no good, finally coming clean about everything.