Teen avoids jail following four month ‘crime spree’

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A man has narrowly avoided an immediate jail term over a four month “crime spree” in Lancaster and Morecambe.

Preston Crown Court heard Layton Clegg, 18, of no fixed abode left a reveller unconscious with a single punch; burgled a historic market in Morecambe; spat in the face of a worker at Lancaster and Morecambe College who had stepped in to stop him fighting on the campus, and stole two bottles of vodka from M & S in Lancaster

He was told his case was “troubling” by Recorder Alldiss, who said: “Until earlier this year you were of good character but since then you have been going off the rails to put it mildly.

“You are lightly convicted but you went on a spree of criminal activity lasting some four months.”

Clegg, who admitted charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm, burglary, assault and theft, was given 25 months suspended for two years, a rehabilitation activity and 100 hours unpaid work.

Prosecuting, Claire Larton said: “The first incident took place on Church Street, Lancaster. On this occasion the defendant was drinking. The complainant was also in the city centre drinking and it appears there was some sort of altercation between two groups of males. There was shouting, and some swearing, and to use use their colloquial words, it all ‘kicked off.’

“The defendant was heard to say verbal abuse and then he punched the complainant once to the face and that blow was sufficient to cause the comp to fall straight on his back to the floor and he was knocked unconscious.

“He says it was four hours before he woke up in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. He was found to have a cheekbone fracture.

“It was only 6.30pm when the fight took place.”

The court heard on August 17, Clegg burgled the Festival Market in Morecambe at 5am and stole food and cigarettes.

His accomplice was caught by a security guard and Clegg was arrested later.

Miss Larton told the judge on September 14 at Lancaster and Morecambe College a member of staff was made aware of a fight on campus.

She says: “It appears things had calmed down, however the defendant was seen to be agitated and aggressive.

“The victim feared things would escalate and so he stepped in between the pair.

“As he told the defendant to leave he turned, thrust his head out and spat into his face.”

Defending, Joseph Hart said: “When first offence was committed on May 12 he was a man of good character.

“He got himself involved in an altercation and it’s obvious there was something of a stand off. He had been provoked by unpleasant words and behavoiur and he struck out with a single blow.”