Frightened Sunderland woman wanted to move home after series of crimes

A frightened woman was left wanting to move out of her Sunderland home after she became subject to a series of criminal incidents.

By Alex Storey
Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 7:39 am

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The victim received a firework through her door in early 2019.

Just weeks later she then returned home after a night away to discover her property had been set alight and her TV had been taken.

Newcastle Crown Court heard neighbours Edwin Smith, 36, and step son Darren Tumilty, 24, contributed to the trouble caused for the woman.

The men were sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.

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The court heard the pair did initially get on well with the complainant but for reasons unknown their relationship soured.

Prosecutor Jane Foley told the court: "She lived there for about eight years and initially enjoyed a reasonable relationship with the defendants.

"However, following a disagreement in 2019 between the defendants and her sister that relationship soured and led to the police being contacted on a number of occasions."

The court heard the woman had decided she was going to move out but while waiting to do so Tumilty tried to burgle her home.

The property was also set alight but the arsonist remains unknown.

Ms Foley said: "In January of last year she went to enjoy her son's birthday.

"She stayed overnight with relatives but her home and contents had been destroyed by fire.

"She could see her TV was missing and her bathroom window was open and missing."

The court heard that a forensic examination found contents of Tumilty's blood on the window frame and he was arrested.

Less than a month later, the woman's sister was sitting in her father's parked car in the street when she was met by Smith.

Ms Foley said: "He approached the passenger window where she was sitting and began shouting at her and calling her a grass."

Shortly afterwards, Smith also began shouting and threatening her whilst she was waiting to be served in a local shop.

Tumilty, of St Leonard's Street in Sunderland, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary whilst Smith, of Osman Close, admitted threatening behaviour.

David Lamb, defending Smith, who has nine previous convictions, said: "He has removed himself from the area of the dispute by relocating to a completelydifferent town.

"He did so a year ago now thereby reducing the risk of any further trouble."

Richard Herrmann, for Tumilty, told the court his client was a young man of previous good character who had suffered a difficult childhood.

Assistant Judge Advocate General Edward Legard sentenced Smith to a two-year community order with 100 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity days.

Meanwhile, Tumilty received a one-year community community with an electronic tag and 15 rehabilitation days.