Thugs, dodgy builders, burglars and perverts were among those offenders facing justice at Teesside Crown Court last month.

And these are just some of the people who faced justice. The Northern Echo has pulled together a list of some of the most prolific.

See them below and find out why they were locked up.


Traveller fight

A member of the traveller community who turned up to a pre-arranged fight to settle a dispute was savagely beaten when he was set upon by a ‘mob’.

Braden Waite was tasked with the job of filming the violence which was then shared with the victim and his family as well as other members of the traveller community.

The victim was chased through a Darlington park by five men before being knocked to the ground where he was punched and kicked, suffering a ruptured spleen, a fractured cheek bone and three broken ribs.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the violence erupted after the gang turned up mob-handed at a park on Salters Lane on August 20, 2020.

CCTV showed one of the men knock him back to ground as he tried to get up causing him to hit his face on the floor.

The Northern Echo: Braden WaiteBraden Waite (Image: Durham Constabulary)

The court heard how the victim suffered a ruptured spleen; three fractured ribs; a fractured cheekbone and cuts to his face.

Waite, of Borrowdale Street, Hetton-Le-Hole, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to a charge of affray.

Judge Jonathan Carroll sentenced Waite to two years in prison for his role in the violence.


Child abuser

A pervert who repeatedly sexually assaulted two young girls when he was a teenager has heard the devastating impact his abuse had on his victims.

Brad Simpson systematically abused the two girls over a protracted period when he was aged between 14 and 20.

Teesside Crown Court heard how his abuse left the two victims struggling with anger issues and feeling unable to trust anybody.

Dr Christopher Wood, prosecuting, said the youngest victim suffered the most significant abuse after Simpson assaulted her when she was under the age of ten.

He said the now 28-year-old sexually assaulted the second youngster when she was under 13 and continued until she turned 13.

The Northern Echo: Brad SimpsonBrad Simpson (Image: Cleveland Police)

Simpson, of Tarring Street, Stockton, was fond guilty of nine offences on the two victims, including sexual assault on a child under 13 by penetration and sexual assault on a child under 13.

Judge Timothy Stead jailed Simpson for a total of six years and nine months for all offences and ordered that it be served consecutively to a sentence the defendant is already serving for violence.

“This was extensive repeat offending against both victims and that shows the gravity of your offending,” he said.


Drug addict

A prolific burglar has been locked up after going on a crime spree to fund his drug addiction.

Kevin Brown targeted five homes in ten days and stole bank cards, jewellery, booze, televisions and an Xbox, before his criminal activities came to an end when he was eventually caught after leaving a trail of evidence.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 44-year-old used the stolen bank cards to buy cigarettes from different shops in Hartlepool.

Emma Atkinson, prosecuting, said Brown had targeted one woman who he had known for a number of years for the second time in his criminal history.

The Northern Echo: Kevin BrownKevin Brown (Image: Cleveland Police)

Brown, formerly of Hartlepool but appeared in court via a video link from HMP Holme House, pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary and six counts of fraud.

Stephen Constantine, in mitigation, said his client was dealing with his drug addiction while on remand in prison and was finally starting to make some progress.

He added: “He recognises that you will impose a significant prison sentence.”

Recorder Paul Reid told Brown he had a ‘dreadful record’ before jailing him for a total of 40 months.


Shocking attack

A pair of thugs armed themselves with an axe and pepper spray after threatening to ‘cut the face’ off the mother of a man they were in dispute with.

Jake Allison and Brandon Jameson turned up at the house wearing balaclavas before trying to force their way in, then squirting noxious spray through a gap in the front door.

The pair, and another unknown man, targeted the house in Billingham after a row about money turned violent.

Teesside Crown Court heard how at one point Jameson, who was jailed as a teenager for the manslaughter of Shane Tunney, walked towards his targeted victim’s mother whilst armed with an axe before being chased from the scene.

The court heard how Allison also threw a brick through the window of another victim’s home the day before, again in a row about money.

Mr Finlay said Jameson had served 45 months for manslaughter in 2016. He was one of seven teenagers locked up for the killing of Shane Tunney, 24, in Norton.

As a teenager, he was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter and assault causing actual bodily harm.

Jameson, 23, of Sadberge Road, Stockton, pleaded guilty to violent disorder, possession of and offensive weapon and sending malicious communication.

While 26-year-old Allison, of Saltersgill Avenue, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to violent disorder and damage of property.

The Northern Echo: Brandon Jameson, left, and Jake Allison,Brandon Jameson, left, and Jake Allison, (Image: Cleveland Police)

Recorder Paul Reid locked the pair up for 34 months each for the violent disorder offence and told them they would serve concurrent sentences for the other charges.

He added: “You were driven off by the Murrays and another man and all three of you retreated. Fortunately, no significant injuries were caused to anyone.

“The only injury being the burning sensation suffered by the occupants of the house.”


Dodgy builders

A gang of dodgy builders deliberately targeted a number of vulnerable victims and ripped them off for thousands of pounds by carrying out shoddy work on homes around the region.

One of the victims told investigators that he handed over ‘bloody wads of money’ after being driven to banks in Darlington and Richmond to withdraw a total of £23,950 over a three-month period in 2018.

The pensioner paid money to have his roof and gutters cleaned; repairs to central heating system; and installation of an unneeded second set of solar panels on the roof of his home near Catterick Garrison.

David Mason, 42, Gary Russell, 44, Adam Godley, 33, and 43-year-old Christopher Scott, were accused of dishonestly overcharging for work that was unnecessary, and sometimes not carried out at all.

The men worked under trading names including Master Seal, Pro-Seal, Aquaseal and Bespoke Driveway Renovations, defrauded customers out of a least £51,735.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said that the four men, in differing roles, had an "agreement to defraud" householders by dishonestly overcharging for work, dishonestly carrying out unnecessary work and charging for it and also dishonestly charging for work that they hadn’t actually ever been carried out.

He told the court that Mason was the driving force behind the fraud and he used his co-accused as ‘cold callers’ to target the vulnerable pensioners, some of whom had already been victims of dodgy builders.

The four men have pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud a total of 22 householders out of tens of thousands of pounds by carrying out shoddy repairs to homes between September 1, 2017, and October 18, 2018.

The court heard how a number of the complainants had passed away since they were ripped-off by the conmen.

Judge Jonathan Carroll described Mason as the ringleader with Russell as his trusted lieutenant throughout the conspiracy to defraud.

He said: “Mason, you stood to gain most; you recruited your team; you set up false details and the purpose of this criminality was to fund your grossly excessive, overspending lifestyle.

“In setting up your team you targeted those you could use, either because of knowledge of past victims you could exploit again or because their own addiction meant you could rely on them to do your bidding.”

The Northern Echo: David Mason, Gary Russell, Christopher Scott and Adam Godley.David Mason, Gary Russell, Christopher Scott and Adam Godley. (Image: North Yorkshire County Council)

Mason, of Harlech Court, Ingleby Barwick, was jailed for eight years and eight months, and Russell, of Bridport Close, Stockton, was jailed for five years and three months.

While Godley, of High Street, Yarm, and Scott, of Gresham Road, Middlesbrough, were both sentenced to 20 months in custody.


Stockton burglars

A pair of burglars made a blunder when they crept into a family home and stole two mountain bikes after the front door was inadvertently left unlocked following a pizza delivery.

Jonathan Rogers and Gary Skerritt sneaked into the property to steal a Muddy Fox and a Carrera Vengeance mountain bike before fleeing the house in Thornaby.

The mother-of-four, who was in the house with three of her young children at the time, called out when she heard the front door slam closed before heading downstairs to find both bikes missing.

The Northern Echo: Jonathan Rogers Jonathan Rogers

Rogers, 41, and 38-year-old Skerritt, both of Stainsby Street, Thornaby, admitted the burglary on July 29 this year at the first opportunity. Skerritt also pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis which was found on him during a police search following his arrest.

Judge Jonathan Carroll confirmed that the pair had made a major error when they committed the burglary when they found the door unlocked.

He said: “That left the opportunity for you two thieves, nothing more and nothing less, made worse by the fact that you actually know her.

“Not only were you thieving within your local community; you were thieving from somebody you knew.”

Rogers was locked up for a total of 25 months and his co-accused, Skerritt, was jailed for 16 months.


Pub singer

A pub singer has been jailed after admitting carrying out a catalogue of vile sexual abuse on four young boys.

David Donald, who performed as David Michaels in pubs and clubs around the region, plied the four boys with booze and drugs before inflicting his perverted sexual desires on them.

The sick pervert was branded a dangerous offender as a judge locked him up for 20 years.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the horrific abuse took place over a number of years in the 59-year-old’s Teesside home and his caravan at Crimdon Dene holiday park.

All four victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered multiple sexual assaults over a protracted period which started when they were all under the age of 16.

In heart-breaking victim impact statements, they all said their childhood had been stolen by the sex offender with some turning to drugs to help them cope with the mental torture.

The Northern Echo: David DonaldDavid Donald

One of the victims said he had attempted suicide to the trauma of the abuse after he started taking drugs as a child.

Another of his victims said he was unable to trust anyone to look after his own child and had lived homeless for a number of years after struggling to deal with the fall-out and perceived shame of the abuse he suffered.

Donald, of High Street, Eston, near Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to a total of 28 child sexual offences, including multiple charges of indecent assault on a child.

Judge Chris Smith sentenced Donald to a total of 20 years for all offences but made it clear the sentence would not undo all the damage his sexual abuse had caused all four of his victims after he ‘blighted’ their young lives.


Cruel couple

A cruel couple have been locked up after a lengthy campaign of physical and emotional abuse left three children traumatised as they entered their adult lives.

Lorna Dennington would regularly slap the three children for any minor indiscretion while her husband, Christopher, would idly stand by and watch.

The Northern Echo: Lorna DenningtonLorna Dennington (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Her husband also fleeced almost £60,000 from one of the victims after he was left in charge of a trust fund set up in the wake of the death of the boy’s father, robbing him of his future dreams.

Teesside Crown Court heard how one of the three children, who are all now adults, was forced to eat her food off the floor after being sick at the table.

Another of the victims was pushed into the bath and had the shower turned on him after he returned home from school in wet trousers.

The pair, both of Bedford Street, Darlington, admitted three charges of cruelty to a person under the age of 16 between January 2006 and April 2017.

The charges relate to the three children, who are all now adults.

The Northern Echo: Christopher DenningtonChristopher Dennington (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Christopher Dennington also pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud, dating between March 2016 and May 2017 when abused his position while acting as guardians and spent around £58,000 from a trust fund set up for one of their victims.

Recorder Jeremy Barnett locked the pair up for 12-months each after deciding that only an immediate custodial sentence was a suitable punishment.

“All the children are now adults and have left the address but what I have heard is the dramatic affects of this course of offending that was set out in the victim impact statements,” he said.

Dealing with the fraud charge, the judge said: “To systematically run the fund down, which was there for him when he reached maturity, was callous beyond belief.”


Brick attack

A thug who chased down a teenager before knocking him out with a brick and launching a sustained violent attack on the unconscious boy has been locked up.

Anthony McLoughlin flew into a rage when the windows of his home were put through with bricks and targeted the innocent 15-year-old he believed was responsible for the attack.

CCTV footage showed the 41-year-old smash the brick into the youngster’s head from a short distance before stamping and kicking him to the head and throwing a flurry of punches.

The Northern Echo: Anthony McLoughlinAnthony McLoughlin (Image: Cleveland Police)

The court heard how the victim turned up at the defendant’s home after he received a phone call from a female friend and when after he arrived a gang of girls threw a number of bricks at the terraced house.

Emma Atkinson, prosecuting said: “The victim suffered bruising to his right eyebrow, a cut to his forehead and a deeper cut to the back of his head.

“He described have sore ribs, bruised hand and knuckles.”

McLoughlin, of Carlow Street, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent in June.

Rod Hunt, in mitigation, said his client was appalled at his behaviour when he realised that his victim was only 15 but accepted that he lost his temper when his family home was attacked.

Judge Timothy Stead jailed McLoughlin for a total of four years after he also admitted breaching a suspended sentence when he committed the violent offence.


Five times

Justice has finally caught up with a serial offender as he was locked up for a catalogue of offences involving the seizure of £100,000 worth of drugs.

Michael Collins was initially arrested in August 2017 when he was arrested with high-grade cocaine and amphetamine.

The 61-year-old was arrested again the following month when found with almost £10,000 in cash and more high-purity cocaine.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Cleveland Police believed the Hartlepool man’s involvement in the drug supply network was connected to the long-running Operation Spoonbill investigation into the flow of drugs from the North West into the region.

The Northern Echo: Michael CollinsMichael Collins (Image: Cleveland Police)

The court heard that Collins was arrested three times last year for another raft of drug-related offences, all committed while he was under investigation for the 2017 charges.

Collins was arrested in February, March and May, last year after he was caught cocaine, amphetamine and a large quantity of prescription drugs as well scales, mobile phones and a ‘tick’ list.

Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, said the total value of drugs recovered totalled in the region of £100,000 when officers raided his former home in Hartlepool and a pub in Port Clarence connected to the defendant.

Collins, of Crosby Terrace, Port Clarence, near Stockton, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A, B and C drugs as well possession of criminal property – the cash.

Recorder David Gordon sentenced Collins to a total of seven years and four months for all offences.

He said: “You have, on multiple occasions, been arrested by the police in relation to possession with intent to supply drugs."


Callous robber

A callous robber targeted a vulnerable pensioner and stole a wad of cash after targeting his victim in the toilets of a shopping centre.

Paul Clark followed the 74-year-old before accusing the pensioner of being a shoplifter before patting the man down and grabbing a handful of £20 notes.

The 58-year-old, who was living in a tent at the time of the robbery, then fled the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, in Hartlepool, leaving his victim in a distressed state.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the pensioner had a habit of withdrawing £20 a day from a cashpoint and was unsure of the exact amount of cash that was stolen but thought it could have been in the region of £1,000.

In a victim impact statement, the pensioner said he felt ‘absolutely terrified’ and thought he could ‘lose his life’.

The court heard how the defendant had 38 convictions for 81 offences, including for violence and burglary.

The Northern Echo: Paul ClarkPaul Clark (Image: Cleveland Police)

Clark, of Lewis Grove, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to robbery following his arrest on July 26 this year.

Recorder Jeremy Barnett sentenced Clark to three-years in custody for the robbery.

“This was an offence has to be viewed as a targeted offence on a vulnerable victim,” he said.


Violent thug

A thug who left his partner fearing for her life as he strangled on her bed when he ‘completely lost it’ has been locked up for two years.

Mark Stokes attacked the woman when they got home from a night out in March this year after they argued in a restaurant.

Teesside Crown Court heard the victim called 999 and told the operator that Stokes was ‘trying to kill her’ before police arrived at her flat in Middlesbrough.

Jenny Haigh, prosecuting, said Stokes grabbed her hand before violently bending her fingers back.

The 49-year-old smashed up the woman’s flat as he left the scene, including damaging a television and mirror.

In a victim personal statement, the woman said he was left suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and suffering from anxiety and flashbacks.

The Northern Echo: Mark StokesMark Stokes (Image: Cleveland Police)

Stokes, of Roseberry Road, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage following his violent outburst.

Stephen Constantine, in mitigation, said his client had served in the armed forces and had managed to stay out of trouble for a number of years before the assault in March when he ‘completely lost it’.

Recorder Jeremy Barnett locked Stokes up for two-years for the violent unprovoked attack.

He added: “You totally lost control and you strangled her for a long period of time. I have seen the photographs of her injuries, there is substantial bruising to her neck and injuries to her fingers.

“She thought you were going to kill her.”