Thief spared jail after wrecking spree saw seven vehicles damaged in Sunderland streets
A thief who launched a wrecking "spree" that left seven vehicles damaged has been allowed to keep his freedom.
Kieron Wright targeted motors that had been parked in the River View area of Sunderland, all within hours of each other, in October last year.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that all of the vehicles, which included cars and vans, were damaged by the 28-year-old, who smashed windows and lights, and some had personal property taken from inside.
Prosecutor Paul Reid told the court: "It was a spree of breaking into vehicles parked in Sunderland."
At the time of the car attacks, Wright was on bail after being caught with a balaclava, torch and small hammer near the scene of a burglary and for stealing perfume from Asda.
Wright, who has a long criminal record, pleaded guilty to going equipped for theft, criminal damage and theft charges.
At a previous hearing, earlier this month, Jamie Adams, defending, said Wright, of Rosedale Street, Sunderland, was "wanting to be caught" so he could get help with his drug problem.
Mr Adams said Wright is "trying to sort himself out" and has responded well while in custody on remand.
Mr Recorder John Aitken adjourned the case until today so that Wright can be assessed for his suitability for a drug rehabilitation order.
The judge told him at the time: "It seems to me you have shown some progress and it would be in everyone's interests if you could get a grip of your drug abuse which might lead to you not offending again."
Wright was given bail over the last three weeks and was told he would receive a non-custodial sentence if he can convince the drug treatment authorities that he is willing to work with them.
But the judge warned him: "If you are unable to persuade them of that, I will have no choice but to give you a custodial sentence."
Wright has now been back in court today where the judge sentenced him to a community order for nine months with a drug rehabilitation requirement.