Burglar locked up for defying court order

BEHIND BARS ... Peter Forshaw has been jailed for 20 weeks.
BEHIND BARS ... Peter Forshaw has been jailed for 20 weeks.

A BURGLAR avoided jail for stealing more than £5,000 worth of hi-tech goods from a South Tyneside business – only to be locked up now for flouting court orders.

Peter Forshaw was given a 23-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in January following a raid at Jarrow insulation firm Team 42.

But the 39-year-old is now behind bars after all, for failing to turn up for three appointments with probation officers required as part of the supervision order he was given instead of a jail term.

Forshaw, of Broughton Road, South Shields, admitted the breach at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Magistrates told Forshaw he will serve 20 weeks of the suspended custodial sentence.

He was also given an additional 63 days behind bars, to run concurrently, to write off £3,463 he owes in fines and costs to the court.

The court heard that Forshaw had failed to attend two pre-arranged probation service appointments on Monday, March 3, and Thursday, April 24, and was not at his address for a home visit on Monday, April 28.

The magistrates were told that Forshaw missed the appointments as he had been carrying out work as a labourer.

Forshaw had initially been due to attend court on Wednesday to answer the breach charges but didn’t show up after mixing up the date he was due in the dock, but when he realised, he handed himself in to police.

Stephanie Malloy, defending, said: “He accepts he missed three appointments and says it was because of employment reasons.

“Since he has spent some time in custody this morning, he has realised he must make this order his priority.”

Chairman of the bench Pauline Barrett told him: “While this is your first breach, you have breached the order on three separate occasions in March and April and didn’t provide an acceptable reason.

“We have listened to the mitigation on your behalf but feel we have not heard anything that would make it unjustified to activate the suspended sentence order in part.”

Forshaw took three laptops, two iPads, a mobile phone, a watch and £200 in cash during the burglary last June.

But forward-thinking bosses at the Royal Industrial Estate firm had installed a free computer application, called Find My iPad, and used it to track down one of the stolen iPads while police were at the premises carrying out investigations.

When officers arrived at the property, in Beach Road, South Shields, pinpointed by the app, bosses at the firm were able to remotely set off an alarm on the iPad device so it could be located.

The iPad, as well as the watch and some of the other stolen items, was then found in a backyard.

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris