Preston burglar wrote off Audi in arson attack

A prolific thief who stole and torched a man's Audi has been jailed for three years and two months.

Craig Nightingale, 45, Lancaster Road North, Preston, broke into a home on Talbot Road, Penwortham, on June 27, 2020, and stole the keys to the £16,500 Audi A5, credit cards, a Dell Laptop and a Samsung tablet.

At 4am police made the family aware their back door was insecure and they found £1,710 property had been taken from inside.

One of the victim's cards was used at 4.27am to buy cigarettes at a petrol station.

Crown Court

A motorist saw the Audi collide with a parked car on Tulketh brow before driving off

Witnesses on Ragland Street later saw Nightingale and his co-defendant, Leanne Holmes, 41, who was holding a dog, outside the vehicle at 5.37am, with the woman taking things out of it.

Nightingale was heard to refer to her by her first name, and said: " I'll sort the f***ing car just go".

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A neighbour saw the car burst into flames seconds after he walked away from it.

The duo was arrested on a car park in Ashton-on-Ribble. Nightingale still had the Audi car key in his possession, and forensic tests on a window sill at the house found a print that matched his footwear.

Defending, Anna Chestnutt said Nightingale had not offended for five years. She said he was giving his partner Holmes, who has mental health problems, round the clock care but became overwhelmed with his caring responsibilities.

He had relapsed into drug and alcohol use and made a "foolish" decision.

Nightingale admits burglary, arson, fraud and theft as well as three thefts and an attempted burglary while on bail.

Holmes, also of Lancaster Road North, Preston, admits handling stolen goods and was given a conditional discharge.

The Honorary Recorder of Preston, Judge Robert Altham, said: " The car was later burned out by this defendant and serious damage was caused to it.

" The defendant is 46 and he has been a prolific burglar."

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