'˜Menace' pair jailed after North East crime spree

Two men who were jailed for a total of more than nine years were branded a menace to society and a waste of public money by a judge.

Friday, 15th April 2016, 3:18 pm
Updated Friday, 15th April 2016, 3:22 pm
Ben Blain

Judge Sean Morris made the remarks to Ben Blain and Adam Richardson who answered for a ‘catalogue of offending’ at Teesside Crown Court.

Blain took part in a burglary at house in Easington Colliery in which he armed himself with a machete and threatened one of two female occupants.

Adam Richardson

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“She defended herself with a baseball bat,” said Paul Reid, prosecuting. “That confrontation took place in the front room of the house in Bourne Street.

“The other female occupant was upstairs, she was so terrified by what was happening she jumped out of a bedroom window, suffering a broken leg and other injuries in the fall.” The court heard both men were involved in a separate assault on another man in another dispute linked to drugs. On that occasion Richardson had a metal pole,” added Mr Reid. “The victim in that case suffered a head injury which needed treatment with staples. Both men later attempted to undermine the case against them by offering a female witness drugs and money to withdraw her evidence. Richardson wrote letters while on remand in prison which were intended to persuade others to threaten another witness.”

Blain, 28, of Hillview Grove, Easington Colliery, was convicted of aggravated burglary and possession of an offensive weapon on September 28, last year, after a trial earlier this year.

He admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and witness intimidation on May 26 last year.

Adam Richardson

Richardson, 28, of Hazel Terrace, Shotton Colliery, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, possession of an offensive weapon, and witness intimidation on May 26 last year.

Barristers for the pair said each had shown some remorse for their actions and realised they needed to change their ways.

Judge Morris jailed Blain for six years and four months, and jailed Richardson for three years and six months.

The judge said: “It is apparent from your records and from this offending you are both a menace to people in the areas in which you live. The courts have spent money on various community sentences for you, and more money has been spent on legal representation to defend your various cases. I sometimes wonder if criminals think about the money they cost the public.”