Burglars apologise after they raided a home following a dispute

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Three burglars have apologised after they raided a home in an apparent act of revenge after a neighbourhood dispute.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on July 10 how Hethan Woodward, 19, of West Street, Whaley Thorns, and two youths aged 17 and 16, who cannot be named for legal reasons, raided a home on Mary Street, at Whaley Thorns.

Prosecuting solicitor Neil Hollett told magistrates: “This was an alleged burglary by the three before you at an address next door to a friend of theirs.”

The victim had left the property, according to Mr Hollett, and returned and noticed the front door was unlocked and various items had been stolen from the property.

Mr Hollett said police began making enquiries and the defendants decided to attend the police station voluntarily.

Police had spoken to a neighbour of the victim and he stated that he was known to the defendants and had hosted a New Year’s Eve Party and the defendants had been among the guests.

However, there had been an issue over noise at one of the addresses and this neighbour fell out with the victim and the neighbour threw back a spare of keys after he had been looking after the victim’s dogs.

Mr Hollett added that the victim’s keys appear to have been obtained later by the defendants and the burglary was committed.

There had been a number of speculative messages circulating on Facebook about what was alleged to have happened and the three defendants handed themselves in.

The 17-year-old youth told police he had committed the burglary and had gone there with Woodward who had the keys but they had been disturbed by the dogs and had returned at a later stage.

He told police they had taken a safe which they opened elsewhere with a hammer and it contained paperwork which was discarded.

Woodward also told police he had felt bad about what had happened and the other 16-year-old youth stated that he had approached the victim and personally apologised.

Woodward and the two youths pleaded guilty to entering a property on Mary Street, at Whaley Thorns, in January, where they stole a brass safe, Hugo Boss sunglasses, a PS4 controller, documents, a card shuffler, a poker set and a knife.

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Defence solicitor David Gittins said Woodward has attention deficit hyper-activity disorder and Mr Gittins requested a probation report before Woodward is to be sentenced.

Woodward’s case was adjourned until a further hearing and he was due to be sentenced today, July 16.

Defence solicitor Robert Sowter said the 16-year-old youth had voluntarily attended the police station and had apologised and expressed remorse and regret.

Karl Meakin, defending, said the 17-year-old youth does not expect to be forgiven but when he says he is sorry he expects to be believed.

Mr Meakin added that the burglary appeared to have been motivated by the dispute.

Magistrates placed the two youths on a six-month referral order overseen by a Youth Offending Team with behaviour contracts with activities which they will have to abide by or they will be returned to court.

The youths, from Mansfield, were each also ordered to pay £50 compensation, a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs.