Burglar who hit small firms in Lancaster and Morecambe jailed after 24 hour crime spree

A burglar who targeted business in north Lancashire in a day long break in spate has been jailed for 16 months.

By Stef Hall
Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 3:45 pm

Damien Lee Withers, 30, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to a string of burglaries and thefts during a hearing before Preston Magistrates' Court.

The bench had previously remanded him in custody and committed his sentencing to Preston Crown Court, where he appeared before a judge by a prison video link.

Prosecutors said on February 8 he stole 4 bottles of spirits worth £80, from Aldi in Lancaster.

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Preston Crown Court

A few days later, on February 19, he embarked on a 24 hour crime spree.

Withers tried to enter Ibay Homes and The Hair Lounge by Becky on Lancaster Road, Morecambe,

He admitted theft, two counts of attempted burglary and three burglaries.

On the same day he managed to enter Torrisholme Fisheries, and stole a till drawer.

He also burgled David Farrer Plumbing, and stole three charity boxes.

He then turned his attention to a building at Troutbeck Fisheries, where he stole a ZTE phone, a pen knife, a charity box and a tub containing cash.

Judge Simon Medland QC imposed an immediate jail term and ordered him to pay a statutory £149 victim surcharge.

At the time of the offences, a spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "The businesses targeted have mainly been local small businesses and we fully understand the impact offences like this can have on such businesses.

"Cash has been the main target during these offences so we would like to remind business owners to avoid keeping cash on the premises where possible and not make it easy for thieves."

If you have any information that can help police target crime in your area, you can call Crimestoppers for free and in confidence, on 0800 555 111.