Grindon Lane Burglar who terrorized Houghton Jailed

A Grindon lane based burglar who terrorized Houghton with violent burglaries has been jailed.

Dylan Newell appeared at the court via link from HMP Durham to be sentenced for offences of burglary, fraud, affray, non-dwelling burglary, handling stolen goods, and driving without insurance or a licence. He had pleaded guilty to the offences at a previous hearing.

He was involved in burglaries, affrays, driving offences and other crimes which took place throughout 2021 and as recently as August this year. The 27-year-old broke into businesses and a home during his offending and was finally jailed after appearing at Newcastle Crown Court.

The court heard that the offending started on September 12, 2020, when Newall burgled a Houghton-le-Spring home and stole items including a Nintendo Switch games console, a tablet and games to the value of around £1,500. Jane Foley, prosecuting, said: “The homeowner returned home and noticed an external door had been kicked in, with glass on the floor. Several items had been stolen from the property.” Later that day, Newall was captured on CCTV committing fraud at a Washington CEX store when he tried to sell the stolen games console, but was unable to, so resorted to selling the games instead.

Ms Foley said Newall’s next offence – an affray – was committed on March 5, 2021, when he and another man went to an address in Shields Place, Houghton-le-Spring. She said: “A man was at his home when the defendant and another man went to his door and asked for a rollie. As the man went into his property he was followed.” The court was told that Newall’s accomplice then shouted at the victim and asked “where the green and money was” before punching him. A search of property was then carried out, before Newall told the victim that his accomplice was going to “stab” him. The victim managed to escape the ordeal by climbing out of a bedroom window and managed to flag a police car down. Newall was later identified by the victim in a line-up.

Months later, on August 7, Newall, along with others, was involved in another affray when he was seen at a service station in Houghton-le-Spring. Two of those he was with had machetes and police were called before Newall was identified from CCTV. Newall’s offending then entered 2022, when in May, a Transit Van including tools was stolen outside of a home. He was later involved in a burglary at a Chinese takeaway in Sunderland where a door was kicked in and loose change was stolen.

Ms Foley said CCTV showed three men arriving at the takeaway in the stolen van. After the burglary, Newall, who was behind the wheel of the van, went to the Cherry Tree pub in Washington where another burglary was to be carried out. However, police were informed and arrived in the area, before the the van – which had been fitted with false plates – was seen. Newall, who had no licence or insurance, made a run for it but was eventually caught by officers.

Liam O’Brien, defending, said Newall had received a record of positive references, including from a former employer and from a local boxing club he had helped out at. He said: “There is a letter from the defendant’s mum that sets out how he’s clearly done awful things, but there is another side to his character. He has used his time in custody very well and has always struggled academically, with difficulties with reading and writing. Despite this, he has worked hard to complete courses and he wants to have a positive relationship with his son.”

Mr O’Brien said Newall’s time in custody had been “very difficult” after being “targeted by others”. He added: “He is scared to leave his cell and scared to exercise, which has taken a toll on his mental health. He’s very sorry for the misery he’s caused to others.”

Newall was jailed for 50 months (4 years and 2 months)