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Locked-up in lockdown two: The criminals put behind bars in November 2020 - cramzine

Locked-up in lockdown two: The criminals put behind bars in November 2020

As the country went into its second national lockdown these criminals were told they would be losing their freedom completely.

They were all sentenced in November for crimes including dangerous driving, robbery and fraud.

And many are now likely to spend Christmas behind bars.

While pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops were forced to close, Newcastle Crown Court remained open for business.

Here are the Tyneside criminals that were locked-up in November.

Andrew Pickering and Gavin Newton:



Andrew Pickering (l) and Gavin Newton (r)

These burglars were found hiding in the loft of a Greggs bakery after breaking in and trying to steal cash from the safe.

Gavin Newton and Andrew Pickering were spotted by a neighbour going through the back door of the Sunderland store after 11pm on October 25, a court heard.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that a bakery supervisor let police into the building, and they found Newton and Pickering hiding in the loft.

A grinder and a hammer were found near the safe in the bakery, the court heard.

Newton, 41, and Pickering, 45, were arrested – and the latter proceeded to falsely give the details of a family member whilst being booked into custody.

They both admitting burglary, and Pickering pleaded guilty to a further charge of perverting the course of justice.

Newton, of no fixed address but from Sunderland, was jailed for 16 months.

Pickering, of Marx Crescent, South Stanley, was locked up for two years.

Dean Stewart:



Dean Stewart

Violent thug Dean Stewart attacked 22-year-old Ryan Covell with a knife.

Newcastle Crown Court was told the two men had got into an altercation inside Ryan’s flat at the Tyneside Foyer on Westgate Road, in the city centre, in June.

Stewart, 25, then used a knife to repeatedly attack his victim, inflicting life-threatening injuries to his neck and torso.

Ryan, from Fenham, Newcastle, needed emergency surgery to save his life.

Stewart, who also lived at the Tyneside Foyer, denied attempted murder but pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to commit grievous bodily harm.

He was jailed for seven years and eight months.

Paul Nicholson:



Paul Nicholson, sentenced to eight years for causing or allowing the death of his baby daughter Tequiilah
Paul Nicholson

Paul Nicholson who was previously jailed over the death of his baby daughter was found in the street with a knife and drugs.

Nicholson was locked up for eight years along with his partner Victoria Burke in 2015 after the pair were convicted of causing or allowing the death of their four-month-old child, Tequiilah Burke.

Now less than 12 months after his release, Nicholson is back behind bars after he was caught carrying a knife and the drug Spice in Newcastle city centre.

He pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article and possession of a class B drug, at North Tyneside Magistrates Court.

Nicholson, of Scrogg Road, Walker, Newcastle, was jailed for six months for these offences, but as he was on licence at the time he was also recalled to prison.

David Hawkes:




David Hawkes, from Sunderland, has been jailed after a break-in which has left an elderly couple feeling they may have to sell their home of 30 years

The 71-year-old victim was having treatment for pancreatic cancer when Hawkes and an accomplice fished keys out through the letter box and stole the car belonging to the pensioner and his partner.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the couple had bought the Nissan Micra to make their regular hospital trips easier at what was already a difficult time.

They have been left so traumatised by the ordeal, they now push drawers in front of doors at night, are afraid to go out and are thinking of selling their home of nearly 30 years.

The break-in happened at the couple’s home on Howard Street, Sunderland, on January 6 this year.

Police turned up early in the morning asking about their Nissan Micra – which had been found crashed and damaged having been stolen from outside their home.

The driver seat airbag had gone off and Hawkes’ blood was found on it.

When he was arrested he claimed another man was driving.

Hawkes, 39, of Havelock Court, Sunderland, has 95 previous convictions, including for burglary and had been released on licence at the time.

He pleaded guilty to burglary and was jailed for 43 months.

David De Costa:




This robber who attacked a student at a cashpoint with a headbutt and punches for the sake of £10.

David De Costa was drunk and in a takeaway when he spotted the second year Sunderland University undergraduate going to withdraw cash nearby.

Newcastle Crown Court heard he stood behind him then pushed him out of the way as the money was dispensed, telling him to “f*** off”.

The student bravely tried to stick up for himself and was headbutted and punched by De Costa, who then tried to push him over some barriers.

The victim called police and courageously stayed at the scene despite the fact the bully was chasing him and continuing to be aggressive.

De Costa, 33, of Baker Street, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to robbery and was jailed for 40 months.

David, Paul and James Lamb:



David Lamb

Three members of the same family were jailed after a rival was left seriously injured with swords and a bayonet.

Victim Wayne Brown, nicknamed Squatter, had fallen out with the Lamb family over claims he had taken advantage of and bullied David Lamb.

After violence flared between Lamb and Mr Brown, Lamb summoned help from his brother Paul and nephew James Lamb.



James Lamb

Newcastle Crown Court heard the father and son raced to the scene in Felling, Gateshead, armed with two swords and a bayonet or dagger.

They attacked their rival, with James Lamb repeatedly sticking the bayonet in his neck before they fled, leaving him bleeding profusely.



Paul Lamb

He went into cardiac arrest on his way to hospital and needed surgery and 37 units of blood and 37 units of plasma to keep him alive.

David Lamb, of Hewitson Terrace, Gateshead, 51, Paul Lamb, 53, of Nursery Lane, Gateshead and James Lamb, 27, of Nursery Lane, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent. James Lamb also admitted possessing two offensive weapons and Paul Lamb admitted possessing a sword. All three were jailed for six years and nine months.

Edward Brown:



Edward Brown

Drug addict Edward Brown smashed his way into a sleeping family’s home in Blyth, leaving them traumatised.

The victim had gone to bed while her partner was snoozing on the sofa and their two young children were also asleep.

When the woman woke to see a figure standing over her, she initially thought it was her partner but was horrified and “hysterical” to see it was stranger Edward Brown, who had smashed his way into the house in Blyth.

The break-in took place at the family home on Thorneyburn Way, Blyth, on October 15 this year.

A neighbour saw Brown using a pole to break in and rang the police, who quickly caught him. Items he had stolen, including car keys, a lawnmower and a box of pens, were recovered.

He claimed he thought he had gone to a friend’s house.

Brown, 44, of no fixed address but of Blyth, has 37 previous convictions, including two for burglary, one for attempted burglary, two for conspiracy to supply heroin, possession with intent to supply a class A drug and being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug.

He pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

Conor Williams, Dean Ratcliffe and Kieran Lincoln:




This trio have been jailed for their roles in a violent clash on a South Tyneside street.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how weapons including a machete and imitation firearm were brandished in the incident, which happened in broad daylight on Arran Drive in Jarrow in June.



Newcastle Crown Court heard how the clash followed months of trouble between the groups of men, one of which has never been identified.




Williams, 25, of Arran Drive, Ratcliffe, 25, of Agin Court in Hebburn, and Lincoln, 26, of Olive Street Hebburn all pleaded guilty to affray.

Williams also admitted carrying the machete, and Ratcliffe to possessing an imitation firearm with intent.

Lincoln was jailed for 14 months and Ratcliffe was locked-up for a total of 19 months.

Williams was also sentenced for separate incident after which he admitted carrying a taser on a keyring, but pleaded guilty on the basis it was in the pocket of another person’s coat he had be wearing and he was unaware it was there.

He was jailed for a total of 20 months.

Glen McCarthy:



Glen McCarthy

A disabled pensioner and a man with learning difficulties were attacked by this jealous thug who smashed his way through the window of a house.

Glen McCarthy’s former partner was visiting the two men and they were sitting listening to music when he made his frightening entrance.

The house was showered with glass and the 34-year-old launched a “terrifying” attack while in a “fit of jealousy”.

Newcastle Crown Court heard a 73-year-old, who lived at the house, in Jarrow, South Tyneside, was punched around three times, suffered a black eye, lost a tooth and got a cut to his nose.

The pensioner’s 41-year-old friend, who has learning disabilities and mental health problems, was so fearful he tried to lock himself in a kitchen but McCarthy kicked down the door, attacked him and carried on even after the victim fell to the floor.

McCarthy, of no fixed address, admitted using violence to secure entry to a premises, criminal damage, assault, common assault and obstructing a police constable.

He was jailed for 12 months.

Ryan Crinson:




Ryan Crinson threatened to “do a Raoul Moat” days before he was due to appear in court for harassing his former partner.

The plasterer had already told his ex he would blow up her car, “make her life hell” and drive his car through her friends’ homes during a series of unwanted calls in April and May.

The 32-year-old menace was arrested for harassment and told he had to appear in court on July 20.

But three days before his appearance, Crinson contacted his victim, who lived in Sunderland and had by then had moved house because of him, 30 times in one day.

During the calls on July 17, Crinson warned he would “do a Raoul Moat” – a reference to the notorious killer who went on a gun rampage after his relationship broke down.

Crinson, of Upper Town, Wolsingham, County Durham, admitted harassment and threatening behaviour.

He was sentenced to six months behind bars with a five-year restraining order to keep him away from his victim’s home in Sunderland.

The court heard Crinson was likely to be released immediately due to the time he has spent on remand.

David Hall:




Drug addict David Hall stole from a Good Samaritan who previously tried to help him.

He was befriended by a Newcastle man he met at a church, who tried to support him over a number of years.

But Hall took advantage of his good nature and conned him out of cash a number of times, taking thousands of pounds from the victim overall.

His latest antics involved stealing a bank card from the victim’s home in Byker and withdrawing £300 from his account.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how, over a period of time, the Good Samaritan had been loaning money to Hall under false pretences and it was never returned. The defendant had used various excuses to obtain cash, totalling more than £40,000, and this led to a conviction of fraud.

The latest two offences took place on September 10, when Hall got into the 60-year-old victim’s flat. He persuaded a neighbour to let him in through a shared balcony, then stole the man’s debit card and pin number. He later withdrew £300 from a cash machine.

The offence came to light when the victim received a text message from his bank informing him of the withdrawal and he confirmed it was a fraudulent transaction.

Hall, 32, who previously lived in temporary accommodation in Newcastle, pleaded guilty to burglary and fraud. The offences were committed when he was on licence and he was taken back to prison.

Darren Stokoe:



Darren Stokoe

This drunk thief threatened to stab a brave customer who tried to stop him was found sound asleep in the back lane of the shop he targeted.

Darren Stokoe picked up two bottles of wine at a Premier store and went to leave without paying after he had been turned away for being too intoxicated.

As he was trying to leave, a customer was coming in and refused to let him pass. A court heard Stokoe smashed the bottles of alcohol on the floor and threatened to stab the Good Samaritan.

But after being allowed to pass, he then dozed off in the back alley, where he was found by police and arrested.

Stokoe was originally charged with robbery but the Crown Prosecution Service accepted guilty pleas to theft and a public order offence.

Stokoe, 28, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 56 weeks in prison but was likely to be released as he has served seven months on remand. He was also given a restraining order banning him from going back to the shop.

Scott Humphreys:



Scott Humphreys

A lone female shop worker was pushed to the ground and told she would be stabbed by a hooded Boxing Day raider Scott Humphrey.

The 34-year-old stormed into the Sunderland Nisa store with his face partially covered by his hood, and warned “give me the money, get the f***** till open now”.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the brave store worker told the thug to leave and tried to get him out of the shop, but there was a struggle and he pushed her to the ground.

Prosecutors say the woman said Humphreys then shouted: “I will stab you, you b*****d, get that till open, get me that money.”

The court heard as the terrified worker at the store, on Sevenoaks Avenue, in Sunderland, retreated, Humphreys jumped on the counter and helped himself to packets of cigarettes, which he stuffed into his pockets and then left.

Humpreys, of Anvil Way, Kennet, Newmarket, Surrey, admitted robbery and was jailed for 30 months.

Michael Curran:



Michael Curran

Serial road menace and former gun attack thug left three members of the same family seriously injured in the latest in a long line of driving offences

The 40-year-old swerved into an oncoming car in the West End of Newcastle, leaving two sisters and their mum badly hurt.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Amina Begum was driving a Mazda with her sister, Shelina, in the front passenger seat and their mum, Ferdousi, in the back, through Fenham, Newcastle, when the collision happened.

After smashing into the Begums’ car, Curran fled, leaving them seriously injured and their car substantially damaged.

Curran already had a long list of driving convictions.

He also received a 15-year jail sentence in 2011 for being part of a gang who shot a rival.

For the latest offending, Curran, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was jailed for 21 months.

Kevin McDonough Snr, KevinMcDonough Jnr and Charles McFadyen:



Kevin McDonough Jnr, 39, of Newbiggin Lane, Westerhope was sentenced to four years in prison on 9 November 2020.

Members of a crime gang that smuggled more that five million illegal cigarettes to the North East have been jailed

The dodgy tabs, along with a tonne of hand-rolling tobacco, were worth more than £1.6m to the gang in unpaid duty. The contraband was then stored and sold from homes across Newcastle.

In total, 10 of the 11 gang members have now been sentenced for their role in the plot.

Kevin McDonough Snr, 61, and his 39-year-old son, also Kevin arranged the delivery, storage and sale of the illegal goods.

Gang members were sent to various locations across England to collect large quantities of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco before returning them to the North East. The drivers would often use third party vehicles to avoid detection. On their return to the North East the illegal cigarettes and tobacco were delivered to addresses used by the gang in Newcastle, where they were stored before being sold.



Charles McFadyen, 76, of Norwood Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, was sentenced to four years in prison on 9 November 2020.

However in January 2016, one of the gang – Stuart Arthur – was stopped by police on the A1 in North Yorkshire and officers found 250 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco. He was arrested at the scene.

That April, another of the crooks, 76-year-old Charles McFadyen, had his home visited. Officials discovered 81,477 cigarettes and 39.25kg of hand-rolling tobacco, more than £6,000 cash and address books containing the details of customers.

When officers arrived at his address, he locked himself in the garage. An accomplice, Stephen Calvert, was there at the time and both men were arrested.

McFadyen’s home was searched for a second time after he was seen making a delivery of cigarettes to Daniel Dunn. On this occasion officers uncovered £179,796 in cash and cheques.

Co-accused Darren Hope also provided storage for the goods and used his former business address as a delivery point while David Moat bought goods from the gang and was seen taking deliveries at his home.

All of the men admitted charges relating to the conspiracy and were sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.

Confiscation proceedings are under way to recover the unpaid duty.

McDonough Snr, 61, of Newbiggin Lane, Westerhope, was sentenced to four years and one month in prison.

McDonough Jnr, 39, of Newbiggin Lane, Westerhope was sentenced to four years in prison.

Charles McFadyen, 76, of Norwood Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, was sentenced to four years in prison.

Stuart Arthur, 57, of Cherry View, Boughton Monchelsea, Maidstone, was sentenced to 22 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 200 hours unpaid work.

Darren Hope, 46, of Durham Road, Gateshead, was sentenced to 13 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours unpaid work.

Stephen Calvert, 50, of Spencer Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne, was sentenced to a 12-month community order and 100 hours unpaid work.

David Moat, 63, of Benton Park Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, was sentenced to 13 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours unpaid work.

James Donohoe and Graeme Chappell:




These ruthless robbers attacked a man as he walked home from a night out. .

James Donohoe and Graeme Chappell followed their victim home from Sunderland city centre in the early hours of December 29 last year.

The 32-year-old was then hit over the head with a bottle before the raiders stole his mobile phone, cash and a vape – leaving him lying in the street with cuts to his head and bruises.

The attack was caught on CCTV and the pair were seen walking brazenly from the scene shortly after.




Both men were convicted of robbery and assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Newcastle Crown Court. Donohoe also admitted a further charge of possessing an offensive weapon.

Donohoe, 31, of Ennerdale, Washington, and Chappell, 41, of High Street, Sunderland, were both sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail, at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mark White:



Mark White

Vile Mark White racially abused and spat at police officers while claiming to have coronavirus before trying to bite nurses attempting to treat him in hospital.

The 36-year-old subjected the emergency workers to a tirade of physical and verbal abuse after being arrested in Northumberland.

White called officers horrific racist names, headbutted one of them and spat at two while insisting he had Covid-19.

He was also disgusting with nurses who were attempting to treat him after he sustained an injury while being restrained by officers, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

White, of Briarwood Cottages, Annitsford, North Tyneside, called one at the police station a “fat s**g” then when taken to hospital he tried to bite nurses’ hands and threatened to headbutt one if they tried to help him.

White pleaded guilty to two offences of causing racially aggravated alarm or distress and three counts of assaulting an emergency worker and was jailed for two years.

John Quinn:



John Quinn

This burglar scrawled “frightening” graffiti above his victim’s bed during a break-in at her home her which left her terrified.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how John Quinn “trashed” his victim’s flat and left her fearing that, if she had returned home while he was there, he “would have killed her”.

The woman has been left “petrified” due to the raid, which happened at her home in South Shields on September 15.

Quinn, of Conyers Close, Castletown, Sunderland, who has convictions for 79 previous offences, admitted burglary and was sentenced to two years and five months behind bars with a lifelong restraining order to keep him away from the victim.

Jack Fowler:



Jack Fowler

Armed with a knife Jack Fowler told a worker “you can’t do nowt” as he helped himself to £25 of groceries.

The robber went into the McColl’s store in the Cruddas Park Shopping Centre, Newcastle, along with two teenage boys and started putting items, including milkshake and cheese, into a basket.

Fowler, wearing ski-type balaclava and with his hood up, headed to the exit without paying and was challenged by a member of staff, who tried to block him.

The 20-year-old told the worker he couldn’t do anything and he noticed he had a kitchen knife in his right hand with a blade of six to seven inches.

Fowler then walked away with the basket of shopping, around 8pm on January 6 this year, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Police were called and were shown CCTV of Fowler and a couple of hours later they spotted him and he was arrested.

Fowler, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to robbery and having a bladed article and was sent to a young offenders institution for 18 months.

Stewart Ratcliffe:



Stewart Ratcliffe

Abuser Stewart Ratcliffe told his ex she would be put “six feet under” and continued his persistent campaign of harassment even after he had been put behind bars.

He had warned the woman “I’m going to get a charge of murder” after she ended their relationship in February.

The 42-year-old, who contacted the woman 75 times in one day, continued to pester her even after he was arrested and charged with harassing her.

Newcastle Crown Court heard his constant contact meant he was remanded in custody in May but still the harassment persisted.

The court heard Ratcliffe sent letters addressed to family members and used a false name for his victim during calls so he could bypass the screening process by prison officials.

In a victim statement the woman said she was “frightened of the defendant and worried about what he was capable of” but the couple have now got back together.

Ratcliffe, of Linnotsfield, Walker, Newcastle, admitted putting a person in fear of violence by harassment and was jailed for 14 months.

John Strother:



John Strother

Serial menace John Strother left his ex living in fear he would kill her after he flouted a court order banning him from contacting her.

Strother had assaulted the woman in the past and breached a restraining order designed to protect her.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim was not at home when the 29-year-old turned up again on September 15 but he asked a neighbour to “tell her I love her, I don’t want to cause her any more trouble”.

Despite not being at home, Strother’s visit had an effect on the victim, who said in an impact statement: “He is unpredictable and has used extreme violence in the past.

“He seems to have a total disregard for this order.

“He seems to think it is his right to make my life a living hell.

“I believe if I am not protected in some way by the police or the courts he will, one day, kill me.”

Strother, of Hindmarch Drive, West Boldon, South Tyneside, who has convictions for 47 previous offences, admitted breach of a restraining order.

He also admitted carrying a large screwdriver with him at Clayton Street, Newcastle, in March.

He was sentenced to 28 months behind bars and the restraining order was extended to last for life.

Graeme Dillon:



Graeme Dillon, of Benwell, has been given a 14-month sentence at Newcastle Crown Court

A drunk thug Graeme Dillon, who banned by a court from seeing his own mum, has been jailed after punching her in the face.

Dillon breached his restraining order for a sixth time in just over two years by turning up at his mother’s home “clearly intoxicated” on October 8.

On this occasion, Newcastle Crown Court heard the 42-year-old knocked on the door and shouted “grass” and “sl**” through the letterbox.

Dillon punched the door before taunting his mum “look what I’m going to do” as he spat on her white Vauxhall Astra.

Ellen Wright, prosecuting, told the court the victim waited for her son to leave before going out to clean her car.

She said: “Dillon came back with the victim telling him ‘get yourself back or I’ll ring the police’.

“He punched her to the right side of the face and jaw. She fell off the curb and into the street. She fell to the ground and she injured her right shoulder and left elbow.”

The victim also sustained bruising to the cheek and a cut lip as a result of the attack.

A neighbour came outside to chase Dillon, of Armstrong Road Benwell, from the scene before calling the police.

The court heard how this was the sixth time Dillon had breached the restraining order forbidding him from contacting his mother since it came into force in July 2018.

Dillon pleaded guilty to assault by beating and breaching a restraining order and was jailed for 14 months.

Liam Gorman:



Liam Gorman

Drug dealer Liam Gorman has been jailed for for supplying MDMA and nitrous oxide in Newcastle after being caught red handed.

He was arrested after plain-clothed officers watched a drug deal taking place with another man in the Ouseburn area.

The following day police intercepted a delivery of 6,000 canisters of nitrous oxide – also known as laughing gas – worth an estimated street value of £2,500 to Gorman’s Jesmond home.

He was found to have promoted himself as a supplier of the gas with business cards under the name ‘Party Supplies’.

Gorman, who admitted possession with intent to supply a psychoactive substance and MDMA as well as being in possession of cocaine, MDMA and amphetamine, has now been locked up for two years.

Marc Mackie and Connor Sinclair:



Marc Mackie (left) and Connor Sinclair
Marc Mackie (left) and Connor Sinclair

A taxi driver was battered unconscious by these hammer-wielding robbers who stole his takings to buy drugs.

The cabbie was called to pick up attackers Marc Mackie and Connor Sinclair but when he arrived, he was subjected to a terrifying attack.

Newcastle Crown Court heard one of them attacked him while the other rummaged around and stole £130 he had earned.

The victim, who lost consciousness for a time, was left with a broken nose, cuts to his face and swelling behind his ear, which has left him with hearing loss.

Mackie, 31, and Sinclair, 22, both of Beach Road, South Shields, admitted robbery. Mackie also admitted possessing a knife when he was arrested.

Mackie, who has 20 previous convictions, including a shop robbery in 2018 and Sinclair, who has 49 previous convictions, were both branded dangerous by Judge Amanda Rippon.

The judge locked up Mackie for six years plus and extended licence period of a further two years. He must serve at least two-thirds of the six years as he is classed as dangerous.

Sinclair was jailed for five years and two months with an extended licence period of a further two years and eight months. He must serve at least two-thirds of the five years two months.

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