Judges extend “unduly lenient” sentences for Northampton burglary gang
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Three Northampton men responsible for a string of supermarket burglaries during which they stole more than £300,000 of cigarettes have all had their prison sentences extended after the Solicitor-General ruled they were “unduly lenient”.
Otis Barrett, aged 26, previously of Banbury Close, West Hunsbury has had three years added to his original six years and four month sentence.
Matthew Brown, aged 30, previously of Crow Lane, Little Billing, and Terrance Mark Brown, aged 26, previously of Glebeland Road, Spencer, also had three years added to their six-year terms of imprisonment.
All three had pleaded guilty to 52 offences of conspiracy to commit burglary between January 2020 and May 2020 during which the gang targeted well-known stores such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s Co-op and Morrisons as well as smaller shops including independent newsagents in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire,
During at least 45 burglaries, the organised crime group stole nearly £300,000 worth of cigarettes and caused more than £120,000 of damage.
To gain entry to each premises, they forced their way in using power tools and crow bars, wearing balaclavas and gloves to hide their identities. Stolen cars and numerous stolen number plates were used in order to evade police detection.
On one occasion they targeted the clothing store, Thackerays, in Wellingborough Road, Northampton, twice in one week, stealing thousands of pounds worth of designer clothing each time.
Their offending carried on throughout lockdown until finally, on May 1, 2020, they were caught by police after burgling a Tesco Express in Coppice Drive in Parklands, Northampton.
At yesterday’s hearing, the three High Court judges concluded the sentence was “unduly lenient”, agreeing with the submissions made on behalf of the Solicitor General that the overall offending was so serious, it needed a sentence close to the statutory maximum, even after credit for guilty plea.
Supt Lee McBride, head of the Force’s Serious and Organised Crime Team, said: “We welcome the ruling from the Solicitor-General which will rightly see the prison terms for these three offenders extended.
“Northamptonshire is a hostile environment for criminals and these lengthy sentences show that crime does not pay. Working alongside our partners the serious and organised crime team will pursue those who feel they are above the law and ensure our communities are kept safe.”