Trio sentenced for rural crimes

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Three people have been sentenced following a large scale police investigation into rural crime offences across the region.

Paul Donoghue, 48, Catherine Bird, 34, both of Stokesly Road in Northallerton, and Gareth Huntingdon, 30, of Barnard Avenue in Ludworth, Durham, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday, July 14, for sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to burgle between June 7, 2013, and November 12, 2013.

Donoghue was sentenced to six years, Huntingdon to 22 months and Bird for two years, suspended for 24 months.

The investigation related to a number of burglaries to sheds, garages and outbuildings and thefts which all happened in rural areas of the Northumbria, Cumbria, Durham, Cleveland and North Yorkshire areas.

Items stolen include high value vehicles, jewellery and cash - in total property worth more than £400,000 stolen in 38 separate offences. The majority of the offences took place in the Northumbria and Cumbria areas.

The sentences comes during Northumbria Police’s Operation Soundwave, aimed at tackling opportunist thieves and burglars across the force and promoting crime prevention advice.

Northumberland Area Command Superintendent Mick Paterson said: “This was a large and complex police investigation encompassing almost 40 offences across a large rural area of the north.

“We’re determined to do everything possible to trace those involved in rural crime and ensure they are dealt with for their actions. Often those responsible are from outside the area and travel the country targeting rural areas and we work closely with colleagues at other forces and other partners and communities to bring offenders to justice.

“I hope the sentences passed send out the message to our rural communities that policing operations such as this are taking place to both tackle those involved in rural crime and prevent offences from taking place.

“We’re committed to ensuring our rural areas remain a safe place to live and operations such as this are ongoing to tackle those causing the most harm to our communities.”

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