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JUSTICE CATCHES UP WITH BREAK-IN MOB; Yobs stole cars after targeting 'faulty' doors.

Byline: GARY STEWART

MEMBERS of a burglary gang which targeted homes with defective door handles were jailed for a total of 18' years.

The criminal mob, most of whom had dozens of previous convictions, carried out a string of raids in Wirral and in Cheshire, breaking into homes while the occupants were asleep and stealing their cars.

Liverpool crown court heard the thieves were frequently drunk while carrying out the burglaries which they did to get cash for more booze.

The five men, including four from Birkenhead, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglaries in July last year after a series of smash and grab raids on local homes, as well as other burglary and dishonesty offences.

Ian Criddle, prosecuting, said houses in Valley Road, Beechwood Road, and Oteley Avenue, all Bromborough, were burgled on July 19, 2011.

During one of the raids, a woman home alone with her three-year-old daughter was targeted. In another, a householder confronted shadowy figures in his hallway who fled when he shouted at them.

The group also targeted a house in Parkgate Road, Chester, during the early hours of July 20 and stole an Audi A3 which was later chased by police and dumped in Birkenhead.

Later that month, 23-year-old Ben Sysum, the most criminally experienced of the gang, burgled a house in King Edward Street, Shotton, near Chester, and stole a Ford Fiesta. In August, while on bail, he and Jamie Ormond, 18, burgled a home in Bentick Street, Birkenhead, and stole a Vauxhall Omega.

They took off at speed before crashing into a taxi which then smashed into a wall, leaving the driver injured. Police chased and arrested Sysum, of Liversidge Road, Birkenhead, who was in the passenger seat. When caught, he merely said: "Prove it."

Ormond was arrested a few days later after being chased from his home in Paterson Street, Birkenhead. Police used CS gas to subdue him.

The five men yesterday smirked and chattered in the dock, and one of them let go a loud belch during their three-hour sentencing hearing, forcing the judge to tell them to be quiet.

Sentencing, Judge John Roberts said: "The victims' statements show in a very graphic way the fear that was engendered by these offences.

"The constant worry that this will happen again, the constant fear when they hear noises - it's clearly had a profound effect on them."

Sysum, who already had 32 convictions for 69 offences, was facing a maximum sentence because of his history of burgling homes.

He was jailed for five years and eight months and disqualified from driving. He gave a thumbs up to supporters as he was led away.

Jamie Ormond, who has 31 convictions despite being only 18, was sent to a young offender's institution for four years and five months, disqualified from driving for five years and ordered to take an extended retest.

Aaron Jones, 22, of Bridge Street, Birkenhead, has already served time for attempted robbery and has 22 convictions. He was jailed for 3' years.

Mark Burns, 27, of Cathcart Street, Birkenhead, was the only member of the gang on bail despite having 25 convictions for 51 offences. He was jailed for two years and eight months. Lee Chase, 18, of Greystone Crescent, Broadgreen, who had two convictions relating to four matters, was sent to a young offender's institution for 27 months by the judge.

GANG'S GUILTY PLEAS? BEN SYSUM - Conspiracy to commit burglaries except the Valley Road burglary; being carried in a motor vehicle taken without consent; burglary on South Hill Road, Prenton; burglary on King Edward Street, Shotton; taking a Peugeot 106 without consent; burglary on Bentick Street, Birkenhead; taking Vauxhall Omega without consent; asked for nine burglaries and being carried in a stolen car to be taken into consideration. ? Jamie Ormond - Conspiracy to commit burglaries; unlawful taking of an Audi A3; burglary on Bentick Street, Birkenhead; unlawful taking of a Vauxhall Omega.

. ? Aaron Jones - Conspiracy to commit burglaries but not the Valley Road burglary; being carried in a motor vehicle taken without consent; making off without paying for pounds 20 of petrol.

Asked for five burglaries in dwellings; one attempted burglary; one burglary in a non-dwelling and one theft of keys to be taken into consideration. ? Mark Burns - Conspiracy to commit burglaries except the Valley Road burglary; being carried in a motor vehicle taken without consent. ? Lee Chase - Conspiracy to commit burglaries but not the burglary at Parkgate Road, Chester.

GANG MEMBER: Mark Burns TWO CONVICTIONS: Lee Chase

CAPTION(S):

EXPERIENCED: Ben Sysum 31 CONVICTIONS: Jamie Ormond SERVED TIME: Aaron Jones
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 6, 2012
Words:761
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