The Northern Echo looks at some of the people locked up at Teesside Crown Court in May.

Among those facing justice include a pair of murderers, drug dealers, a rapist and violent thugs.



Two men who beat a father-of-one to death in a flurry of kicks, punches and stamps, have been locked up for life after being found guilty of murder.

Lee Hogg and Terry Dalton launched the vicious attack when a night of drinking and drug taking spiralled into the murder of Carlos Boyce following an argument about crack cocaine.

The pair were also found guilty of battering Joseph Spencer unconscious with a vodka bottle when he tried to stop them attacking his friend inside his Middlesbrough flat.

Hogg, who was described as a bully during the trial, took umbrage at Mr Spencer standing up to him when he tried to tell him what he could do in his own home.

The Northern Echo: Lee HoggLee Hogg (Image: Contributor)

Teesside Crown Court heard how Dalton lured Mr Boyce into the hallway before the two men launched a savage attack on the 36-year-old – punching, kicking and stamping, on their victim before hitting him with a piece of broken sink and hosing him down with scalding water.

They then attacked Mr Spencer, pinning him to floor and smashing a vodka bottle into his head before eventually leaving the flat on Homerton Road, on November 11, last year.

The Northern Echo: Terry DaltonTerry Dalton (Image: Contributor)

Sentencing the pair, Judge Howard Crowson described Hogg being in a ‘belligerent’ mood when he turned up to supply drugs to Mr Spencer’s home before the night descended into fatal violence.

Hogg, 38, of Lindisfarne Road, Ormesby, was jailed for a minimum of 21 years in custody while 53-year-old Dalton, of Ellerbeck Way, Ormesby, was told he would serve a minimum of 20 years, for the murder of Mr Boyce and for inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Spencer.

Judge Crowson added: “The attack was persisted with over a long period and it is known that Mr Boyce was alive for at least one to two hours after suffering the head injuries and alive while he was doused with scalding water."



A drug dealer who imported cannabis from America has been locked up after his illegal enterprise caught the attention of a regional crime squad.

Steven Munsey was using BITCOIN to import high-quality cannabis bush from California and having parcels of it delivered to addresses in the Redcar area.

The 32-year-old had been using the name ‘Ghostbudders’ when he was importing and selling illegal drugs and using cryptocurrency to try and hide his illicit funds.

Teesside Crown Court heard how he advertised the drugs on Instagram and paid thousands of pounds into his business bank account from sales of many kilos from California and Oregon in parcels labelled tee-shirts.

The Northern Echo: Steven MunseySteven Munsey (Image: Contributor)

An investigation was launched when two international packages were intercepted from the United States on February 19, 2020. The packages contained various cannabis products hidden in clothing and cosmetic items.

Munsey was arrested and subsequently charged with two counts of importation/exportation offences, possession of Class A with intent to supply and four other possession charges.

Alex Menary, defending said in mitigation that Munsey had been addicted to cannabis but he had weaned himself off it since his arrest in July 2020.

The defendant, of Geneva Road, Darlington, but formerly of Redcar, was jailed for two years and four months after pleading guilty to the charges.



A drug user turned dealer has been jailed after police recovered cash, cocaine and weighing scales, from his Darlington home.

Jamie Letten had almost £3,000 in cash and up to £4,400 worth of Class A drugs stashed around his home more than two years ago.

The 29-year-old’s finger print was found on one of the plastic bags where the drugs were stashed, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Police found a set of scales, £2,530 in cash alongside 54.3g of cocaine in one room of the flat before finding a £10 deal of cocaine and a further £400 in cash in another room.

The Northern Echo: Jamie LettenJamie Letten (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Letten, of Martindale, Road, Darlington, was convicted of one charge of possession with intent to supply a Class A drug following the raid at2.30am on March 5, 2021.

Robert Mochrie, prosecuting, said his client was vulnerable and had now accessed mental health services to address his problems.

Judge Chris Smith sentenced Letten to 30 months in prison, saying: “I have read a lot about you and I know you have got lots of problems and you do your best to cope with them.

“The worry of this case will not have helped but you are going to lose that worry at the end of this hearing because it is going to finish today.

“The police came to your flat and they found quite a lot of cocaine and found a lot of money - you were playing your part in some dealing of cocaine and controlled drugs cause a lot of problems for people.”



A rapist who repeatedly attack his victim in her own home has been branded a danger to the public after it was revealed he had a history of violence towards women.

James Walton barged his way into her home when she answered the door before launching a terrifying, violent sexual attack on the woman.

The 33-year-old dragged her around the house, strangled her almost to point of unconscious before repeatedly raping her, Teesside Crown Court heard.

A judge heard how the victim’s ordeal lasted for 14-hours before she managed to escape the evil pervert’s clutches.

The court heard how the violent thug forced the woman to clean up after him and demanded that she wash the bedding before trying to force her to drop the allegations after he had been arrested.

The woman broke down in tears as she attempted to read out her victim impact statement and members of the public were kicked out of the courtroom by the judge after a litany of vile and threartening abuse was hurled towards her.

The Northern Echo: James WaltonJames Walton (Image: Cleveland Police)

Walton, of Ashling way, Middlesbrough, was found guilty of three rapes, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, false imprisonment, harassment, and witness intimidation.

Victoria Lamballe, mitigating, said there was little she could say on behalf of her clients as he was fond guilty of the offences before urging the judge to take into account that he had already been recalled on licence.

Judge Howard Crowson passed a 25-year sentence – 19 in custody and six on extended licence – as he branded the defendant a ‘dangerous man’.



A domineering bully who threatened to burn down his partner’s home when she refused to let him in has been jailed after relentlessly stalking her.

Tony Leming made his victim’s life a misery throughout their relatively short relationship by regularly beating her, threatening to kill her, and locking her in her home.

Teesside Crown Court heard how things came to a head when the 24-year-old attacked her again on August 5 last year.

Nigel Soppitt, prosecuting, said: “He came round to her house, she refused to let him in and he shouted – ‘If you don’t let me in, I will torch the house with you in it’.

“She let him in and he pushed her onto the sofa before jumping on her causing her injuries to the arm.”

The following day, Leming returned to her home and again demanded to be let in before threatening to burn her home down.

The Northern Echo: Tony LemingTony Leming (Image: Cleveland Police)

Leming, of Littondale, Hemlington, Middlesbrough, was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, stalking, threatening behaviour, and breach of a non-molestation order following a trial at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

Emma Williams, mitigating, said the tree surgeon had lost his job after becoming addicted to crack cocaine and urged the judge to spare him from an immediate prison sentence.

Judge Howard Crowson branded Leming a ‘dominating’ bully who had previous convictions from incidents involving a previous partner.

Leming was jailed for a total of four years and two months for all offences and made subject of restraining orders keeping him away from his ex-partner and he parents.



A thug who threatened to kill his grandmother and cut her cat’s head off and post it through her letterbox before burgling his mother’s home has been locked up.

Brandon Lee made the vile threats when he turned up on the doorstep of his grandmother’s Darlington home when he returned from Blackpool both homeless and hungry.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 22-year-old threatened to ‘kick the door off its hinges’ before being allowed into her home.

Once inside he became agitated and started threatening to kill his grandmother and chop her cat up.

The judge heard how he threw a plant pot at a window as he left her home at around 3pm on March 1 this year.

The Northern Echo: Brandon LeeBrandon Lee (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Around 90 minutes later his mother returned to her home to find him inside and graffiti scrawled on the walls and on a photograph.

Lee was arrested the following morning and threatened to ‘smash up’ both his grandmother and his mother’s home when he was released.

The 22-year-old, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to making threats to kill, criminal damage, burglary and threats to cause criminal damage.

Ian West, mitigating, said his client had returned to Darlington while homeless and hungry after living in Blackpool.

Judge Chris Smith sentenced Lee to two years in custody for all offences after hearing how his behaviour had impacted on his grandmother when he ‘cruelly’ threatened to cut her cat’s head off.

“It left her very upset and I doubt she will ever forget this episode,” he said.



A ‘despicable’ pervert who groomed a teenage girl for his own sexual gratification has been locked up after supplying her with cannabis to help fulfil his deviant desires.

Sami Brek sent a number of text messages to the girl expressing his sexual interest in her but acknowledged there was a significant age gap between the pair.

However, Teesside Crown Court heard how the 32-year-old ignored his own warning signs and engaged in sexual activity with her several years ago.

A judge heard how Brek was found guilty of two charges of sexual activity with a child and supplying a Class B drug cannabis.

Brek, of Southfield Road, Middlesbrough, committed the offences in the Stockton area.

David Ward, mitigating, said his client has now started to accept responsibility for the behaviour with the young girl.

The Northern Echo: Sami BrekSami Brek (Image: Cleveland Police)

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Paul Watson KC, locked the pervert up for five years.

He said: “There was a period of grooming behaviour by you and I have no doubt that you targeted her for your own sexual gratification.

“Children can behave in an inappropriate way sometimes but you have to treat them as what they are – children.

“You knew her age and you knew you were developing a sexual attraction towards her. You texted her saying the problem was obvious and that was her age.

“You were more than a decade older than her – this was not the fumbling of a pair of teenagers. You provided her with cannabis which made her even less likely to resist you.

“It is despicable behaviour and it wholly unjustified. You knew when you engaged in this behaviour that it was wrong.”



A would-be robber who threatened to stab a woman working behind the bar of a restaurant fled the scene empty-handed when two of her colleagues spotted what was happening.

Paul Galloway walked behind the bar of Turtle Bay in Middlesbrough town centre and demanded that she hand over the cash from the till.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 49-year-old intimidated the worker with his demand but she told police that she never actually saw a knife despite his threat.

Joseph Hedworth, prosecuting, said the victim noticed Galloway when he entered the bar on Corporation Road as he didn’t look like their ‘usual clientele’.

The Northern Echo: Paul GallowayPaul Galloway (Image: Cleveland Police)

He said: “He approached the bar and walked behind it and used the words – ‘get the money out of the till or I will stab you up’.

“He said this in an aggressive manner and when the threat was made, he had his hands in his pocket. She fairly says that she didn’t see a knife at any point. He was within touching distance of her and she didn’t know whether he had a knife or not.”

The defendant fled the scene empty-handed when the woman’s two colleagues started to walk towards him, he added.

Galloway, of Nelson House, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery at around 10pm on February 16 this year.

Judge Paul Watson KC sentenced Galloway to two years in prison after hearing the defendant had 47 convictions for 177 offences, although none of them were of a similar nature to the attempted robbery.



A couple who carried out a revenge, knife attack on a man when they chased him down and attacked him in broad daylight have been locked up.

Joshua Walker was told he was lucky not to be facing a more significant charge after he was found guilty of wounding with intent after he stabbed the man in the head.

His partner, Bethany Howard, was found to have passed the knife to the 27-year-old when the bumped into their victim in May last year near to Stranton Primary school, Hartlepool.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the violent confrontation was captured on CCTV which showed the pair chasing the man down the street following an initial clash near Southburn Terrace and Moyne Gardens.

The Northern Echo: Joshua Walker, left, and Bethany Howard, right.Joshua Walker, left, and Bethany Howard, right. (Image: Newsquest)

Sam Faulks, prosecuting, said the ‘revenge attack’ left the victim with a two-centimetre cut to his face which resulted in him suffering a chip to the bone of his temple.

The court heard how Walker lashed out when he was arrested and racially abused one of the officers when he was taken to the police station.

The 27-year-old, of Grange Road, Hartlepool, was found guilty of wounding with intent, racially aggravated assault and possession of a bladed article.

Uzma Khan, mitigating, said her client’s mental health had improved while he had been remanded in custody as he was no receiving proper treatment for his ADHD.

Howard, of Charterhouse Street, Hartlepool, was found guilty of possession of a bladed article and section 20 assault.

Shaun Dryden, mitigating, said the 30-year-old had been recalled on licence as a result of her latest offence after being jailed for six years for robbery in 2018.

Judge Tony Brown told the pair they were lucky not to facing a more serious charge after their victim was stabbed in the face.

Walker was sentenced to six years in custody with a three-extended licence period once he is released.

And dealing with Howard, the judge locked her up for 27 months for her role in the violence.



A ‘despicable’ man who violently robbed his father, carried out a sexual assault on a teenage girl, burgled vulnerable people’s homes, spat in a police officer’s face, and robbed a shop, has been locked up for his catalogue of offences.

Urfan Arshad’s reign of terror took place in Middlesbrough and Darlington over a two-year period, Teesside Crown Court heard.

And the 42-year-old was branded ‘selfish and despicable’ by his sister when he was sentenced for all of his offences.

Teesside Crown Court heard how his behaviour has had a devastating impact on all of his family as he was jailed for a total of eight-and-a-half years by Judge Howard Crowson.

Glenn Gatland, prosecuting, said Arshad’s father had let him stay with after he became homeless but he soon started taking money from him to pay for drugs before becoming violent when he was refused cash.

The Northern Echo: Urfan AshadUrfan Ashad (Image: Cleveland Police)

Paul Abrahams, mitigating, said his client had suffered from addiction for a number of years and had managed to stay out of trouble until his business collapsed in 2013.

Arshad, of Harrowgate Hill, Darlington, was also ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for seven years when he is released from custody.



A violent thug who was part of a gang who kicked and punched a reveller unconscious in a ‘ferocious’ assault has been jailed.

Connor McLeod was one of three people who attacked the man after he told them to be quiet following a night out in Hartlepool town centre with his partner.

The 25-year-old and his accomplices punched and kicked the man before he managed to briefly escape their violent assault.

Teesside Crown Court was shown CCTV of the three males chase down the man before knocking him to the ground before they all started punching and kicking the defenceless man rendering him unconscious.

Peter Sabiston, prosecuting, said the attack only came to an end when members of the public intervened in the early hours of June 19 last year.

McLeod, of Dowson Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent when he appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

The Northern Echo: Connor McLeodConnor McLeod (Image: Cleveland Police)

Martin Scarborough, mitigating, his client had the ‘good sense’ to plead guilty when he appeared in magistrates’ court and told the court he had been recalled on licence after serving part of a custodial sentence for a previous assault.

Judge Paul Watson KC jailed McLeod for 20 months after watching the ‘ferocity’ of the attack on CCTV images from the night.



A convicted sex offender has been jailed after staying at the home of a young mother without telling her about his previous convictions.

David Spencer was made subject of sex offender registration for life when he was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court for seven years for sexual offences with girls, in February 2013.

Following his release from custody, the 36-year-old was required to notify police where he was living, what social media accounts he was using, and register his banking details.

Teesside Crown Court heard how concerns were raised after he failed to return to his accommodation for several nights and he was eventually located staying at the 18-year-old’s home.

The court heard how Spencer also used his step-father’s name on a snapchat account, again without notifying the authorities.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she was shocked to learn about his previous convictions after she was introduced to him by a friend from a mother and toddlers’ group.

The Northern Echo: David SpencerDavid Spencer (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Spencer, formerly of Fencehouses, near Houghton-le-Spring, but whose most recent address was given as care/of a charity-run men’s hostel, in Plawsworth, near Chester-le-Street, admitted eight charges of failing to comply with the terms of his notification requirements between July 18 and October 12 last year.

Victoria Lamballe, mitigating, said her client had made good use of his time on remand to take part in a number of courses.

Judge Paul Watson KC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, sentenced Spencer to 12 months in custody but told him he would be soon released as he had spent seven months on remand.



A would-be burglar who was caught on a doorbell camera trying to force his way into a house before trying the handles of a car on the drive has been locked up.

After unsuccessfully gaining entry, Jonathan Watson wandered further down the Darlington street where he tried to gain access to two Volvos and an Audi before smashing two windows of a Ford Fiesta.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 36-year-old had little recollection of the events in the early hours of April 13 this year as he prowled around properties in Glaisdale Court on his latest crime spree.

The Northern Echo: Jonathan WatsonJonathan Watson (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Jenny Haigh, prosecuting, said: “Doorbell CCTV footage showed the defendant approach the house, he is seen to try to open the front door of the property, leaning into it, he was unsuccessful and then tried to open the door of an Audi which was parked on the driveway of the same property."

Miss Haigh added that the defendant was under the influence of drink at the time and had no recollection of committing the offences.

The court heard how Watson had 51 convictions for 111 offences, including 29 theft related offences.

Watson, of Victoria Road, Darlington, pleaded guilty to one attempted burglary, three charges of vehicle interference and a further charge of criminal damage.

John Nixon, mitigating, said his client was in the grip of his alcohol problem at the time of the offences and deserved maximum credit after he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

Judge Jonathan Carroll sentenced Watson to a total of 16 months for all offences.



A prolific burglar and shoplifter has been locked up after going on a crime spree where he ransacked a charity shop and raided a designer clothing store stealing thousands of pounds worth of stock.

Paul Atkinson racked up nine offences within a two-month period before being caught after breaking into a vets in Hartlepool in April this year.

The 45-year-old committed the last of his offences a week after he received a suspended sentence for another raft of crimes.

Teesside Crown Court heard how his latest spate of offences started on February 27 when he smashed his way into Cuba Menswear in Hartlepool and stole £7,000 worth of stock.

Jenny Haigh, prosecuting, said his next five offences were all shoplifting related with the defendant stealing Lindt chocolates, Prosecco gift sets and Ferrero Rocher from two different Sainsburys in the town.

Atkinson also stole from Boots and a Spar shop in March this year, the court heard.

His spree came to an end on April 23, less than a week after receiving a suspended sentence, when he was arrested following burglary at Clinton Lodge Vets where he ransacked the business premises.

The Northern Echo: Paul AtkinsonPaul Atkinson (Image: Cleveland Police)

Atkinson, of Grange Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to four non-dwelling premises and five shoplifting offences between February 27 and April 23.

The defendant has 41 convictions for 96 offences, predominantly for theft and burglary.

Recorder Aisha Wadoodi told Atkinson he had one of the ‘worst records’ she had seen in recent times as she jailed him for two years.

She added: “You have a very bad record and it seems to have got worse in recent years. Recently you have managed to come off drugs in prison and certainly from looking at you now, you seem to have detoxed.

“You cannot continue down this road of offending that you have done in the last few years.”