Crime spree teen locked up

Halifax police station, Richmond Close
Halifax police station, Richmond Close

A teenager will serve 13 weeks in a young offenders institution following his involvement in a crime spree through Halifax town centre.

18-year-old Nathan Holcroft, of Oldham Road, Ripponden, pleaded guilty at Calderdale Magistrates’ Court to two counts of theft and one of criminal damage.

The court was told that he opportunistically stole three charity boxes from Halifax Borough Market the day after a night out during which he had been drinking.

He made his way to Poundland where he went on to steal a milkshake.

Following the “spree” he was arrested and put in police cells at Halifax police station – but wrecked them after stuffing bedding down the cell toilet and continually flushing it which resulted in a flood – which also damaged food in the nearby kitchen.

The court was told that Holcroft – who appeared in court alongside two co-defendants, Ryan Ledingham, 19, of Whitley Bay, Newcastle, and Pierce Kaye, also 19, of Ovenden Way, Halifax - had been spotted on CCTV at Bull Green on July 5 running from the initial charity boxes theft at around 8am. The court heard he went on to carry out the Poundland theft before being spotted around the Woolshops area on CCTV, showing Holcroft “shaking the box,” the prosecution said; showing “no indication of remorse”.

Holcroft was then discovered by police and arrested, the court was told.

He was found to have £6 on him in loose change.

The court then heard how the defendant blocked his cell toilet – resulting in the criminal damage charge.

Prosecuting, Miss Elizabeth Wright said: “It’s not a pretty picture the crown would say.

“It’s unenviable for a young man of 18, it seems an almost unstoppable list of offences.”
The court was told that Holcroft had been subject to numerous previous convictions including theft, and mitigation Mark Baxendale agreed that he was “no stranger to the court.”

He added that Holcroft attacked the cells in an act of protest.

Mr Baxendale said: “He felt like the police were antagonising him. He blocked the toilet and flooded his own cell.”

For the first offence of theft of the charity boxes – which Magistrates branded as “particularly mean” Holcroft was sentenced to serve four weeks at a young offenders institute.

For the milkshake theft he received a three week concurrent sentence and for the criminal damage charge, nine weeks consecutively meaning that in total he was sentenced to 13 weeks at a young offenders institution.

The co-defentants Ledingham – charged with handling stolen goods, common assault and criminal damage - and Kaye – charged with handling stolen goods, two counts of theft and common assault by beating - will be dealt with at Bradford Crown Court on July 22.