Garage owner labels Northampton man jailed for stealing two cars and a child's bike a 'thieving scrote'

"When I found out the garage had been burgled my initial thought was, 'b******s.'"

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 7:12 am

A man described as a 'thieving scrote' from Northampton involved in stealing two cars, a children's electric bicycle and various tools from a garage was jailed yesterday (Monday, June 28).

Lewis Wootton was sentenced to three years and three months in prison at Northampton Crown Court after pleading guilty to the burglary in Oundle in May.

The court heard how the burglary had cost Oundle Service Station financially and the owner's family were saddened particularly by the theft of their son's Revvi balance bike.

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Lewis Wootton. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

Reading out his statement from the time of the burglary, the Eastwood Close garage owner said: "When I found out the garage had been burgled my initial thought was, 'b******s.'

"It was 5.20am and I was still in bed. When I got there I found the front door had been ripped off and an untidy search had been done inside - I was gutted.

"All I thought was why has some thieving scrote taken my stuff? The electric bike had only been ridden twice by my son and my wife cried when she found out it had been stolen.

"We had to make excuses to my son about why he couldn't use it, saying it was being washed, which made him cry, and now I have to get a new one.

"We've got a new baby and my wife and I don't need this stress."

Priya Bakshi, prosecuting, said Wootton, 42, of Axe Head Road, broke into the garage in the early hours of May 11.

The defendant, who is also known as Lord Elvis Smith, stole the keys to a Mercedes convertible and a BMW X3, the electric bike, laptops, diagnostic equipment and other tools.

The Mercedes was found abandoned nearby in Blackpot Lane, Oundle, but police found Wootton as the BMW was spotted by an automatic number plate recognition camera in convoy with a Nissan Juke.

The Nissan belonged to the defendant, which was tracked to the Shell petrol station on Towcester Road, Northampton, where officers found him.

A search of the car found the keys to the BMW, which was located on Axe Head Road, and the diagnostic equipment while Wootton gave his brother's details as his own to police and denied any involvement in the burglary.

Paul Webb, defending, asked Her Honour Judge Rebecca Crane to consider a suspended sentence as his client going to jail would cause a lot of issues for his family.

Wootton's three-year-old son and his partner have significant health issues that require hospital treatment while he suffers with chronic back pain.

"He realises, as well as the victim to whom he has caused significant upset to the business, but also the greatest penalty or what brings home the futility of his offending is the difficulty he's brought on himself and his family," he said.

Wootton has 43 previous convictions for 156 offences, mostly burglaries and driving offences, dating back to 1995, and most recently the 12-month sentence for dangerous driving in June, 2020, that was suspended for 24 months.

Mr Webb said the six-year relationship with his partner has helped to reduce his offending while he had complied with all of the rehabilitation and unpaid work requirements of his sentence.

"He appears to be someone making a genuine attempt to rehabilitate and abstain his offending which has punctuated his past since was a juvenile," he said.

"He wants to put his offending behind him and he knows he's 42, he needs to focus on family life."

The victim, who had only ran the garage for 18 months at the time of the burglary, said business was starting to significantly pick up after struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

But the theft meant they lost more than £1,000 in trade in a week as they could not work without the stolen tools - they also had issues with their insurance company.

Judge Crane jailed Wootton for two years and nine months for the burglary, two years and three months concurrently for the car theft, four months concurrently for the driving without insurance and six months consecutively for the suspended sentence breach and disqualified him from driving for three years.

"It's clear this has had a very significant impact on the victim and his family," she told him.

"He's worked for many years to build up the business, buying equipment for the business and investing in it.

"They lost a significant amount of trade because of this and there have been issues with the insurance company.

"It's affected him and his family, he has a young child and has cause stress they could do without."