Sheffield judge tells teenage burglar 'you have me as a friend'

A judge has told a young burglar he is willing to spare him from jail with a suspend prison sentence if the defendant can show he has turned over a new leaf.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 12:43 am

Sheffield Crown Court heard on October 13 how Jayden Howson, aged 19, of Knutton Crescent, Parson Cross, Sheffield, forced open a window at a home with a shovel before stealing property including a bag, bank cards, a laptop and a phone.

Judge David Dixon told Howson: “You broke into somebody else’s home with an item taken to the scene. There were others involved as well and all the while the occupiers were in bed.”

Becky Jane, prosecuting, said Howson also stole a Nissan Qashqai from the driveway with bank cards, clothing and other possessions inside the vehicle.

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Sheffield Crown Court, pictured, has heard how a teenage Sheffield burglar has been given a chance to avoid prison if he can prove he can change his ways.

Howson also used one of the bank cards twice at a service station on Bradfield Road to buy cigarettes and drinks, according to Ms Jane, but he was later identified from CCTV footage and from DNA found on the shovel.

Clarkson Baptiste, defending, said: “There are older people involved in this but he does not wish to name these individuals and he was clearly a passenger in a vehicle when he went to the petrol station and he was encouraged to use the cards. Clearly, there are others above him in the chain.”

Howson, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to the burglary and to the theft of the vehicle which happened in May and he also admitted two counts of fraud after using the bank card.

Judge Dixon told Howson: “I am going to give you a chance. The chance is this. I am going to adjourn your case for six months on the basis that if you manage to keep your side of this offer I will give you a suspended sentence. If you don’t, you are going away for two years.”

He told Howson he wants him to find a job, stop taking drugs and to show he understands how close he has come to going to prison.

Judge Dixon deferred sentencing until March 29, 2022, with a review hearing on November 15 to check his progress.

He told Howson: “The good news is you have me as a friend for the next six months. Not a friend you really want.”

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