Man warned to change his ways after crime spree

A MAN has been warned to get his life together or face going to jail after he admitted a series of offences in court.

Daniel Alexander Dodsworth, of Aldam Street, Darlington, pleaded guilty to seven different offences at an earlier hearing at Darlington Magistrates’ Court and returned for sentencing following a probation report.

The 27-year-old’s first offence took place on May 26 last year, when Dodsworth walked out of Sainsbury’s, on Corporation Road, with two crates of cider worth £25 without attempting to pay.

Two days later, while in custody at Darlington police station, he scratched his signature repeatedly into the render or paint of walls, doors and drainpipes, causing £180 worth of damage.

The third offence took place on October 3 when he was arrested at 3am for being drunk and disorderly and shouting abuse at a police officer.

He was arrested again on November 18, after he took his girlfriend’s Peugeot 107 without her consent, before going to a petrol station where he covered the registration plates with tea towels and drove away without paying for petrol worth £39.37.

He was also admitted driving without a valid licence and without third party insurance.

The court heard that Dodsworth was chased by police and hid in a river to evade capture, but later handed himself in.

Darren Brown, in mitigation, told the court that Dodsworth has worked to turn his life around since the last offences in November and has recently discovered that he is to become a father.

Dodsworth was disqualifed from driving for six months and ordered to pay compensation for the stolen cider and petrol and for the damage to the police station. He was also put under a curfew for eight weeks.

Chairman of the bench Lorraine Overton called Dodsworth’s list of offences "shameful" and said he had to turn his life around for the sake of his child.

She added: “We believe you are a fortunate man today because another bench might have decided it was time to start locking you up. If you appear before this court again that may well be the route they go down.

“We’ve all got a choice in life and this is an opportunity to start making something of your life or you will be locked away.”

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