Sunderland thief in court after stealing children's moon boots and purple wellies

A Sunderland thief’s car break-in haul proved less than out of this world – when the best he netted was a pair of children’s moon boots.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 2:50 pm

Stephen Donkin’s poor pickings from his raid in Fordland Place, Pallion, also included kiddies’ purple wellies and a brown envelope.

Despite landing no great catch, Donkin, 34, of Fordenbridge Crescent, Ford Estate, was given a prize berating by magistrates in South Tyneside.

They slammed him for an act on the evening of Saturday, April 3, which they said could have permanently affected his victims.

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The incident happened in Fordland Place

Prosecutor Niamh Reading said Donkin had broken six years of staying on the straight and narrow by committing his crime.

She added: “A witness returned home and noticed the defendant trying to open several car doors.

“The witness phoned the police, and watched as the man opened the door of a white Ford Focus and then as he rifled through the boot.

“Police attended, and the witness pointed them in the direction of the defendant.

“They located him and found that he had children’s moon boots, a brown envelope, purple wellies and vehicle keys.”

In the victim statement read to the court, the car’s owner said some of the items had been gifts to his daughter.

Greg Flaxen, defending, said the owner of any vehicle, be it Ford Focus, Ferrari or Lamborghini, would feel violated by Donkin’s actions.

But he insisted his client’s crime had been on the spur of the moment – and that he had not offended since 2015.

He added: “It seems odd for someone who does not have a vast number of convictions, and who has gone six years, to commit this.

“The best that I can get out of him is that this was opportunistic and that he wasn’t in a good place.

“He has worked in cladding, including on nuclear missile stations and the Etihad stadium in Manchester.

“Perhaps when he’s not working, he gets bored. He’s due to start work again on Monday.”

Roseanne Forster, chair of the bench, told Donkin: “There’s nothing that can truly or fully describe the feeling of a person, knowing they’ve been invaded.

“Car or house, it changes one’s outlook, permanently.”

Donkin, who pleaded guilty to theft from a motor vehicle, was fined £180, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

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