Earby crook told to ‘grow up’

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A crook whose “job” it was to sell a £12,000 car and a £180 mountain bike, taken in New Year house raids, has kept his freedom.

Burnley Crown Court was told that Tony Hayton (47) was caught after he was seen walking away from the stolen Corsa and was arrested and searched.

The defendant, an ex-heroin addict who now smokes cannabis, admitted two charges of handling stolen goods.

Hayton, of Waddington Street, Earby, was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for a year by a judge, who told him to grow up and act his age.

Julian Goode (prosecuting) said the car was pinched from Victoria Crescent, Earby, on December 31st, 2013. The keys had been taken in a house burglary.

Later the same day, an officer in Hargreaves Street, Nelson, saw a man walking away from the stolen vehicle.

He watched as the defendant went to a nearby property and entered it. The defendant was arrested and searched.

He was found to be in possession of car keys plus white cable which had been in the car when it was taken.

Mr Goode said Hayton’s address at Waddington Street was then searched and the GT mountain bike, also taken in the house raid, was found.

Hayton, who, the court was told, had a record for petty crime and convictions for dishonesty, was questioned and denied the offences.

Kathryn Johnson (defending) said a long-standing heroin addiction accounted for the majority of Hayton’s offending. He had been free of the drug since 2010.

The barrister continued: “He accepts he still occasionally uses cannabis when he feels particularly low and has cravings so far as returning to heroin use is concerned.”

Sentencing him, Judge Beverley Lunt said Hayton’s job was to sell the stolen property and try and get rid of it.

She added: “If people didn’t have any way of getting rid of stolen goods, they wouldn’t burgle houses.

“It’s time you grew up, acted your age and stopped doing this.”