Newport Tesco ram raiders jailed
9:02am Monday 21st October 2013 in News
TWO Newport ram raiders who stole a car before using it to target two Tesco Express stores have been jailed for almost nine years between them.
Michael Marsh and John Littlejohns stole a Kia car from Thompson Avenue on September 17 and used it to smash the glass exterior of the Tesco at Rogerstone around 2.55am before carrying out a similar attack at Malpas Tesco less than 15 minutes later – but failed to steal anything from either store.
Marsh, 25, received sentences totalling four years five months at Cardiff Crown Court while Littlejohn, 28, was sentenced to serve four years.
John Lloyd, prosecuting, told the court how they gained access to the home through an unsecured kitchen window, stealing a handbag, mobile phone and a wallet, along with the keys to the car which they drove off.
They sat in the car park at Rogerstone for some time, said Mr Lloyd, before Marsh, of Clifton Place, Newport, reversed the car three times into the front of the store.
Littlejohn, of Moorland Park, Newport, was seen entering the Tesco Express on CCTV footage shown to the court, but fled without stealing anything.
At Malpas, the two men were forced to kick their way into the store with the car too big to fit between the security bollards. But the security smoke alarms were set off, and their pair again left empty handed.
Mr Lloyd said they burgled the property where the parents were asleep upstairs, along with one of their children, while another played on a games console having returned from a night out with friends around 1am.
Mr Lloyd said: “The homeowners now both have difficulty sleeping and the wife will not go downstairs alone during the night. They were awoken around 5am by the police, and were frantic something had happened to their son.”
Marsh and Littlejohns had been drinking and taking drugs when they committed the offences said Huw Jones, defending Littlejohns.
“When he is sober he is a decent man,” said Mr Jones“but at times of trauma in his life he turns to drink and drugs, which leads to offending.”
Defending Marsh, Andrew Jones, said: “His offending started aged 12 when his father passed away. He was left to lead quite a nomadic lifestyle, with no family and no support network.”
Judge Daniel Williams said: “In the dead of night you two acted as a team and entered a property where the owners were asleep in their beds, along with children. You stole their car and used it to commit an act of ram raid burglary. It was unsuccessful in that nothing was taken but you then went to another Tesco to carry out a more conventional yet equally unsuccessful burglary.
“I don’t accept this was an act of spontaneous offending. The offences are so serious that only immediate custodial sentences can be justified.”
Marsh got two years for each of the Tesco burglaries, to be served consecutively, alongside a concurrent 29-month sentence for the domestic burglary, two months for driving while disqualified and four months for aggravated vehicle taking.
Littlejohns received the same sentences for the Tesco burglaries, a 24-month concurrent sentence for domestic burglary and four months for aggravated vehicle taking.
Gwent Police detective constable Nick Head said after the court hearing: “Marsh and Littlejohns committed these audacious but ultimately foolish crimes in a short space of time and were arrested very quickly by officers. It was more good luck than anything else that no one was injured, and the sentences issued today reflects the serious nature of the offences committed.”
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