Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Notorious Darlington bike thief jailed after catalogue of offences
A NOTORIOUS thief who once claimed an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) helped him turn his life around was today (October 29) locked up after stealing more than £30,000 worth of property.
Shane Preston was locked away for two-and-a-half years after confessing to two burglaries in Darlington earlier this year.
At court today (October 29) the 22-year-old asked for eight more offences to be taken into account when he was sentenced, which totalled £34,000 of stolen property.
Teesside Crown Court heard Preston stole four bikes worth £7,000 from a garage on Clare Avenue, in Darlington, after using a still saw to cut through the heavy duty chain they were secured with on Monday, September 17.
After he was arrested at his mother’s house, Preston then went on to show police another garage on Brinkburn Road, which he had also broken into and stolen £8,700 worth of bikes.
In a victim impact statement, Nigel Potter, of Clare Avenue, said his son, Christopher, had come home early to take his bike out.
He said: “When I saw how he reacted it was particularly heart wrenching. It meant the world to him to race his bike.”
Prosecutor David Wood said there was a significant degree of planning and organisation to the incident, as Preston had heard about the bikes and had obtained a still saw specifically to cut through the chain.
Paul Abrahams, mitigating, said: “He is not likely to get employment. He goes back to Darlington where everybody knows him as Shane Preston who steals bikes and gets back into crack cocaine.
“He knows bikes, he knows the value doesn’t make a great deal of money but he gets his drugs. How he is going to break that chain I do not know.”
Judge Peter Bowers: “It is clear from the victim impact statement that these were families that were affected. You are well equipped to remove all sorts of safety precautions which people take.”
After the sentence was passed, a woman in the public gallery shouted to him “oh, not bad”, to which Preston gave a thumbs up.
In 2004, he achieved notoriety when he was given Britain’s toughest Asbo aged 14, which banned him from entering the Skerne Park Estate.
Despite claiming the Asbo had turned his life around, he was later jailed in 2010 for 13 months after holding a knife to his partner’s throat.