South Shields man praised by judge after turning his life around following criminal activity

He was warned failure to do would almost certainly result in him being jailed.

A South Tyneside offender under threat of imprisonment for a string of offences has been praised for turning his life around – in just three months.

District Judge Zoe Passfield told Dean Baird, 35, evidence of his retreat from criminality was recorded in one of the most positive pre-sentence reports she had read.

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It caused her to refrain from imprisoning Baird, of Stanhope Road, South Shields, who had admitted offences including burglary and assaulting a policeman.

South Shields Magistrates Court.South Shields Magistrates Court.
South Shields Magistrates Court.

In February, at a hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, another judge deferred sentence and instead gave him until May to prove he could stay crime free.

He was warned failure to do would almost certainly result in him being caged.

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On his return to the same court to be sentenced, Judge Passfield said: “Mr Baird, your sentence was deferred with two conditions.

“The first was that you stayed out of trouble, and that you fully complied with Probation.

“It’s one of the best reports I’ve ever read. It’s a credit to you, you’ve really turned things around.

“You really need to just keep to what you’re doing. Fantastic turn around, congratulations. Let’s not see you back here.”

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At his first hearing, Baird pleaded guilty to burglary other than a dwelling by theft, causing criminal damage, and theft in a dwelling.

And he admitted failing to comply with a community order and common assault of an emergency worker.

He assaulted the police officer by spitting on his head on Thursday, November 24, in South Tyneside.

Baird also stole a £100 TV after inflicting £1,300 of damage to a supported living complex in South Shields on Wednesday, December 28.

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And on Tuesday, January 3, he burgled a property in Julian Avenue, Lawe Top, also South Shields, making off with an £800 bicycle.

The court heard he flits between periods of criminality and finding work and being law abiding, and that alcohol was the main driver to his offending.

Mark Humble, defending, also said the Probation Service report was one of the best he had seen.

Judge Passfield sentenced Baird to a 12-month community order, with 10 rehabilitation days and 90 days of tag monitored alcohol abstinence.

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She ordered him to pay compensation of £200 to the police officer, and £100 each for the television theft, the bike theft and causing criminal damage.

There were no court costs or victim surcharge.

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