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Burglars hauled before a judge after £44,900 Audi A6 stolen following break-in at Newcastle flat


One burglar was locked up and another narrowly avoided jail after a break-in at a flat and the theft of an Audi A6.

The burglary took place at a property in Newcastle city centre in November last year, when a key to the Audi was taken from the apartment.

The vehicle was driven away and, some months later, found burnt out in the Manchester area.

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At Newcastle Crown Court, it was said the occupant of the flat had hired the vehicle from a car hire company and it was valued at around £44,871.

Josh Wilkinson and Lewis Dodd pleaded guilty to the burglary. Wilkinson also admitted theft, driving without a licence and without insurance.

Now Dodd, 19, of Fell Court, Gateshead, has been sent to a young offender institution for 16 months, while Wilkinson, 19, of Lady Street, Hetton Le Hole, was spared a spell behind bars.

Prosecutor Anthony Pettengell told the court the burglary victim was living in a top floor flat on Low Friar Street.

On November 22 last year, the occupant left the flat and returned at around 9pm to find there had been a break-in.

“He saw wood debris on the floor,” said Mr Pettengell. “His door was damaged and open. He found his keys for his Audi had been taken.”

CCTV showed the defendants entered the flat at around 8pm. They were seen in a communal area outside and broke in by kicking on the front door, the court heard.

Mr Pettengell added: “The males were seen to leave and get into the lift. One had the Audi key. The Audi was taken when they got down to the garage, with Mr Wilkinson driving and Mr Dodd getting into the passenger seat.”

It was said the car, which was hired, was worth £44,871 and was found burnt out by police in the Manchester area a few months later.



Lewis Dodd
Lewis Dodd

Brian Mark, defending Wilkinson, said his client was vulnerable, had special educational needs and did not have “the best thinking skills”.

Wilkinson was going on a course to become a steel fitter, was hoping to find employment at a power station, and had the support of his father, the court was told.

Mr Mark added: “He is very regretful of the matter. This is an individual who would be very vulnerable in prison and would probably become more criminally involved.”

Richard Herrmann, for Dodd, said: “The vehicle was owned by a multi-national organisation. We don’t accept that this is a theft causing a significant degree of loss to the victim.”

He said Dodd had been struggling with his mental health while in custody but was intending to start a college course and was working to address his alcohol problems.



Josh Wilkinson
Josh Wilkinson

“He was a user of multiple recreational drugs but he has not taken drugs for a very long time but accepts that drink is a problem,” said Mr Herrmann.

“He will accept any help that is offered to him from the probation service.”

Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced Dodd, who had nine previous convictions for 18 offences, including burglary, to 16 months in a young offender institution.

However, he said he would suspend Wilkinson’s sentence as he had a “prospect of rehabilitation” and had already spent around 52 days on curfew.

Wilkinson was given 18 months in a young offender institution, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out rehabilitation activities, take part in a Thinking Skills programme and carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

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