Seaton smash and grab trio jailed

PUBLISHED: 10:43 12 July 2013 | UPDATED: 10:43 12 July 2013

Crime scene at New Look News in Seaton.

Crime scene at New Look News in Seaton.


Court hears how drunken raiders broke into a Harbour Road shop and stole the Lotto scratchcard display

A gang of smash and grab raiders have been jailed for a midnight attack on a Seaton newsagent’s shop in which they fled with the lottery scratch card display.

The three friends from Chard had gone for a night’s binge drinking in the resort where they stole a getaway car before targeting the shop in Harbour Road.

Shocked neighbours were woken by a huge crash just after midnight and looked out of their windows to see three men in hoodies manhandling the entire display into the back of a stolen Volvo car.

They sped away from the scene and set light to the car at a nearby beauty spot in a bid to destroy the evidence, Exeter Crown Court was told.

James Stuart, aged 47, denied burglary and being carried in a car taken without consent but was found guilty by a jury last month.

Richard Lay, 30, and Daniel Deeprose, 27, admitted burglary. Lay admitted stealing the car and Deeprose being carried in it.

Stuart was jailed for 24 weeks, Lay for 20 weeks and Deeprose for 16 weeks by Recorder Mr Paul Dunkels, QC. All have served time on remand awaiting sentence and were released immediately.

He told them: ”It is nearly a year since the night in July 2012 when, after a drinking session in Seaton, Lay stole a car and the three of you broke the window of a newsagents and stole a scratch card display.

“Having driven off, you abandoned the car and destroyed it by setting it alight. The aggravating features are that you acted together as a group, used a vehicle, committed the offence at night.

“The mitigating features are that this offence was committed on impulse and there was no pre planning.”

Mr Lee Bremridge, prosecuting said neighbours were woken by a huge crash which shook their buildings as three men in black hoodies broke into the shop.

They saw them climbing out through the broken window and heaving the entire lottery display into the back of the stolen car.

When the owners of the shop arrived they found the glass door smashed and the scratchcard display, which had £330 worth of tickets inside, broken away from the lock on the counter.

Rupert Taylor, defending, said the crime was born out of drunken folly and the defendants are now sorry for their actions and keen to turn their backs on crime.

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