A MAN made subject of a suspended prison sentence for burglary committed a series of car break-in attempts just days later, following his release from custody, a court heard.

Christopher Kenning received a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Durham Crown Court on April 7, after admitting burglary and theft.

The offence related to a break-in at a converted farm barn, now used as a holiday let, in Witton Gilbert, near Durham, on November 23, last year, when a television set was taken from the unoccupied property.

Following legal submissions it was accepted the converted farm barn was not classed as a “dwelling” in law and therefore Kenning received the suspended sentence, leading to his release from custody.

His co-accused, a 34-year-old Gateshead man, received an immediate 16-month prison sentence.

Read more: Duo admit tv theft burglary of holiday let in County Durham

Kenning was back before the crown court, however, by video link from custody at nearby Durham Prison today (Wednesday June 22), following his arrest for further offences committed since the suspended sentence was passed.

Graham O’Sullivan, prosecuting, said there were a series of vehicle interference and thefts from vehicle offences committed by Kenning on April 12, just days after his release from custody.

Among items taken included a dashboard-mounted camera and various amounts of loose change.

In a further spree of similar offending Kenning targeted the car park at South Moor Golf Club, near Stanley, on the morning of May 16, trying doors of vehicles, and taking a wallet from one.

Mr O’Sullivan said a bank debit card inside the wallet was subsequently used to buy £42-worth of alcohol at a store in Stanley, between 7.47 and 51am that day.

Kenning was identified from the in-store CCTV footage making the purchase at that time.

Although, upon arrest, he denied responsibility, claiming he was in bed at that time, he pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud by false representation, relating to use of the stolen card, when he appeared before magistrates on May 19.

Given Kenning’s record, the magistrates sent the case to be sentenced at the crown court, where the 42-year-old defendant, most recently of Elm Street, South Moor, Stanley, asked for 11 other offences, of theft from vehicles and car interference, to be taken into consideration.

The court heard he has 33 convictions for 63 offences, 33 of them for matters of dishonesty.

Helen Towers, for Kenning, said on his release from prison his accommodation was no longer available to him, while his first Universal Credit payment was not due until June 10.

“So, he left prison, effectively homeless and penniless, and returned to his previous drug misuse.”

She added that they were “opportunistic” offences, with no planning.

Judge Ray Singh disagreed, however, saying the golf club car park was targeted as it was off road, at the back of the clubhouse at a time when it would be known the owners would not be present.

“You were failing to comply with that order imposed in April just five days later and it’s quite obvious you weren’t going to comply with it.”

Judge Singh activated part of the suspended sentence and passed a 14-month term of imprisonment, to be served immediately.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054