A killer, a robber, and violent attackers are among the people facing justice at Teesside Crown Court this month.

Here The Northern Echo rounds up the cases of some of the most serious offenders locked up in October.

Brutal killer

A man stabbed his drinking buddy in the neck, head, and body almost 50 times in a ferocious attack before attempting to dismember his tied up body.

David Thompson-Love battered Maurice Bennett with a kettle and tin of food before using a multiple weapons to stab the 54-year-old to death in his Middlesbrough flat.

When he was found by his victim's family, he was still holding a knife and said “I’ve done wrong haven’t I?”

The 37-year-old went out to buy a hacksaw, cleaning products and alcohol before returning home to try and dismember his friend’s body while the hacksaw blade was upside down.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Thompson-Love plunged a knife and potato peeler into Mr Bennett, known as Moza, while his hand was tied to his leg.

Nick Dry, prosecuting, said the bloody scene was found by Moza’s partner and sister when they became concerned when they couldn’t contact him on April 7 this year and later found him dead in the defendant’s flat.

He said Thompson-Love would rely on his victim and his family to the extent that they even made him his Christmas dinner.

The Northern Echo: David Thompson-LoveDavid Thompson-Love (Image: Cleveland Police)

Thompson-Love, of Oakrise, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to murder when he appeared in court in June.

Peter Makepeace KC, mitigating, said his client was intoxicated at the time of the brutal assault on his ‘only friend’ and has been diagnosed with a mental health condition resulting in him having little recollection of the fatal attack.

Judge Paul Watson KC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, passed a life sentence and told the defendant that he would serve a minimum of 18 years and four months in custody for the "utterly inexplicable and astonishing" murder.


Sustained attack

A man who launched a violent attack on a friend in his own home was told it was only good fortune that he didn’t inflict serious injuries during the assault.

Gareth Swainston slashed at the man while he had a knife in his hand after punching and kicking him to the ground when he attacked him in his own home.

The 39-year-old dragged his victim into his own home before embarking on the sustained assault last year after the defendant had chained the man’s door shut.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the victim suffered numerous cuts and grazes to his face, arms, and hands during the attack.

Anthony Pettengell, prosecuting, said the victim had returned home to find numerous items had been thrown out and there was a chain across his door.

“He tried to drag him into the apartment while he punched him with a knife in his hand,” he said.

“The victim says that Swainston got on top of him and continued to punch and hit him. He held the knife to his face and slashed across him a number of times."

The Northern Echo: Gareth SwainstonGareth Swainston (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Swainston, of High Northgate, Darlington, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent following the attack on August 17.

Recorder Aisha Wadoodi branded Swainston a dangerous offender as she passed an eight-year extended sentence for the brutal attack.

She said: “It was more by good fortune than design that he didn’t suffer more serious injuries, due to the length of the attack, it really was good luck.”


Perverted pensioner

A perverted pensioner has been locked up for grooming and systematically sexually abusing two young girls.

Raymond Mackley showered one of his victims with gifts before sexually assaulting her on a number of occasions, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The 81-year-old’s deviant past caught up with him when his victims spoke to North Yorkshire Police in 2020.

Mackley’s sinister behaviour happened for almost a decade, starting before either victim was a teenager.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said the abuse had caused lasting damage for the victims after they had their lives turned upside down by the defendant’s sexual abuse.

The Northern Echo: Raymond MackleyRaymond Mackley (Image: North Yorkshire Police)

Mackley, of the Green, Romanby, Northallerton, was found guilty of 16 charges of child sexual abuse following a trial.

Robert Mochrie, mitigating, said his client continues to deny the charges but accepts that he is facing a lengthy custodial sentence after being found guilty by the jury.

Recorder Aisha Wadoodi sentenced Mackley to a total of 12 years in custody for all offences.

She added: “You carried out this abuse to fulfil your deviant sexual desires.”


Armed robber

An armed robber who targeted two businesses within minutes of each other in a desperate attempt to raise cash to pay off his brother’s drug debt has been locked up.

Donovan Hackleton was stabbed and slashed when drug dealers turned up at his home demanding he settle his brother’s £12,000 debt, a court heard.

The 30-year-old was taken to hospital for treatment before becoming aggressive and assaulting two police officers on July 29 this year.

Less than a month later, Hackleton walked into a Tesco Express shop armed with a ‘potato peeler’ before demanding cash from staff.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the defendant fled empty handed following the attempted robbery at the store in Normanby, Middlesbrough, on August 19.

Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, said the defendant then turned his attention to T-Style Barbers in Normanby, where he threatened a female member of staff before stealing cash from the till.

The court heard how Hackleton grabbed the woman’s mobile phone before dumping it in a nearby bin.

The Northern Echo: Donovan HackletonDonovan Hackleton (Image: Cleveland Police)

Hackleton, formerly of Oaklea Walk, Middlesbrough and latterly of Hambleton Crescent, Marske, pleaded guilty to robbery, attempted robbery, possession of a bladed article and three counts of assault on an emergency worker.

Gary Wood, mitigating, said his client carried out the successful and failed robbery in a desperate bid to raise money to pay off his brother’s debt after he was attacked and slashed across the stomach.

Recorder Ashley Serr said: “You went out to steal to pay off the drug debts – you could have alerted the police to your predicament but you didn’t.”

Hackleton was jailed for a total of five years for all offences after he turned to armed robbery to clear his brother's debt.


Sick pervert

A pervert who sexually abused a teenager and persuaded another child to send him sexually explicit images from her home in the US has been jailed.

Stephen Slimmings took photographs of the teenager while they were in bed together and videoed her while she was in the shower during his campaign of sexual abuse.

The full extent of the 38-year-old’s sexual depravity only came to light when he posted child sex abuse images only and police were able to trace his email address back to his North East home.

A search of his mobile devices revealed hundreds of child abuse images and a series of disgusting sexualised conversations with the teenager as well as the video of his American victim performing a sex act.

Teesside Crown Court heard how police were able to identify the first teenager by checking the tiles in the bathroom alongside the ones captured in his sickening video.

The Northern Echo: Stephen SlimmingsStephen Slimmings (Image: Cleveland Police)

Slimmings, of Mickey Barron Close, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to inciting the sexual exploitation of a child aged 13-17; engaging in non-penetrative sexual activity with girl 13 to 15; engaging in sexual communication with a child; making indecent images of children – 30 in Category A, the most serious, 51 in Category B and 536 in Category C; and possession of prohibited image of a child.

Judge Paul Watson KC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, sentenced Slimmings to a total of four years and eight months for all charges.

He said: “The police seized your phone and it became clear that there were a number of indecent images of children on your phone.

“It was also clear there had been an inappropriate relationship between you and a teenage girl.”

Slimmings was also made subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and told to sign on the sex offenders’ register for life as a result of his convictions.


Sneaky burglar

An opportunistic burglar crept into his victim’s home to grab the keys of the car parked outside and drove off with the woman’s handbag.

Anthony Fryett spotted the patio door open at the house and took advantage to steal the woman’s purse, iPhone, and passport, as well as the passport of the victim’s late mother.

The 49-year-old then drove the car to a nearby shop where he used her stolen bank card to spend £24 in a shop.

Teesside Crown Court heard how CCTV footage from the shop helped officers identify the defendant and he was later arrested at his home while the stolen Ford Kuga was recovered nearby.

Tabitha Buck, prosecuting, said the homeowner was woken by her dog needing to go out and left the patio door open to give it free access to her home.

Miss Buck said the handbag contained the victim’s iPhone, purse, and the passports while the car was valued at £15,000.

She told the court that the defendant had 50 convictions for 174 offences, including more than 170 for theft and acquisitive crimes.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said the burglary had left her scared to be in her own home and had impacted on her and her family’s life.

The Northern Echo: Anthony FryettAnthony Fryett (Image: Cleveland Police)

Fryett, of Wheatacre Close, Marske, pleaded guilty to burglary and taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent following the incident in the early hours of September 11 this year.

Emma Williams, mitigating, said her client had struggled with drug addiction for a number of years and accepted full responsibility for the burglary.

Judge Chris Smith said: “You helped yourself to her handbag which contained the passport belonging to her late mother.”

Fryett was jailed for two years.


Sickening violence

A man repeatedly stamped on his girlfriend’s head before stabbing her several times when she tried to end their relationship due to his violent behaviour, a court heard.

Christopher Kemp flew into a rage when the woman told him she wanted him to move out of her Middlesbrough home after he called her a ‘slag’ following a night out.

The 43-year-old was told it was a ‘miracle’ he did not cause his victim more serious injuries as a result of the sustained, violent assault.

The thug also killed one of his victim’s dogs when he picked it up and threw against a wall, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The court heard how Kemp then picked up a mop and repeatedly hit her around the head until it broke in half.

The woman suffered stab wounds to her face and chest and required hospital treatment for her injuries.

The Northern Echo: Christopher KempChristopher Kemp (Image: Cleveland Police)

Kemp, of Hartington Road, Stockton, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent following the assault on June 13 last year.

Robert Mochrie, mitigating, said his client had struggled with alcohol and drug addiction throughout his adult life and had ‘no recollection’ of the events that unfolded in his ex-partner’s home.

Recorder Nathan Adams branded Kemp a dangerous offender as he imposed a seven-year extended prison sentence – five-and-a-half years in custody before being released on an 18-month licence.

“Your response was utterly excessive,” he said. “You stamped on her head; you took a knife from the kitchen and proceeded to stab her repeatedly.

“It is a miracle she was not more seriously hurt."


Serial offender

A serial child sex offender has been locked up after he groomed a teenager to send him explicit photographs of herself.

Paul Evans has a history of contacting underage girls through social media and offering them money to strip off and share sexual images with him.

The 55-year-old was caught when the teenager’s mother checked her mobile phone and read a series of disturbing messages between the pair.

Teesside Crown Court heard how she called Evans but he denied doing anything wrong and was just chatting online with the underage girl.

Rachel Butt, prosecuting, said the police were alerted by the concerned mother and they raided the pervert’s Teesside home where they recovered images and messages from his mobile phone.

The abuse came to light in February last year after he had been in contact with her for two months.

Last year, the father-of-one was jailed two-years-and-six-months after he performed a sickening dance which involved exposing himself to two teenage girls live on a webcam.

The Northern Echo: Paul EvansPaul Evans (Image: Cleveland Police)

Evans, formerly from Middlesbrough appeared in court via a video link from HMP Durham, pleaded guilty to causing a child to watch an image of sexual activity; inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity; and engaging in sexual communication with a child.

Recorder Thomas Moran jailed the pervert for five years and two months for the abuse of the teenage girl.

He said Moran has "a deeply troubling history of sexual interest in children.”


Bizarre behaviour

A prolific offender who bit chunks out of a bath bomb before tucking into fishing bait when she let herself into a stranger’s house has been locked up.

Rachel Watt's drug-induced offending was described as ‘bizarre’ when she appeared before a judge charged with two burglaries and a theft – all carried out to fund her addiction.

The 41-year-old also preyed on a disabled former neighbour by pestering him to let her into his flat before stealing food.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the man’s carers found Watt asleep on his sofa after taking a shower and rifling through his drawers.

The defendant carried out a third burglary when she targeted a flat in the Friends School Yard building in Darlington town centre.

Cainan Lonsdale, prosecuting, said the first burglary occurred when Watt walked into a house on Shakespeare Road, Darlington, and helped herself to a taste of some bath bombs and fishing bait all while a young male was asleep on the sofa.

Mr Lonsdale said the defendant targeted her vulnerable former neighbour in January this year when she stole his food and refused to leave his flat until the carers arrived.

The Darlington woman's final offence occurred at the flat in the Friends School Yard building on May 11 this year.

The Northern Echo: Rachel WattRachel Watt (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Watt, of Parkgate, Darlington, pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary and one of theft.

Mark Styles, in mitigation, said it was ‘quite extraordinary’ the levels to which his client had sunk due to her two-decade-long drug addiction.

Judge Chris Smith locked up the prolific offender for a total of 20 months for the three offences committed after she went on a crime spree to fund her addiction.

He said: “Burglaries of houses are always serious because you are going into someone’s private space and you are stealing their belongings but you also take from them the safety they feel in their own home.”


Brutal attack

A drug addict who launched a sustained and brutal attack on a woman in the early hours of the morning as she tended to her horses has been jailed.

Liam Shone jumped in the woman’s car while it was parked in an isolated area but when she told him to get out, he punched her to the ground and jumped on top of her to continue the assault.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the woman was rescued by police officers who just happened to be passing the scene on the outskirts of Eston, near Middlesbrough, when the attack happened.

Rachel Butt, prosecuting, told the judge how the woman was left battered and bruised following the attack on July 8 this year.

She said the victim saw him get into her car and tried to get him out but was only successful in retrieving her dog from her vehicle.

“She started to walk away but her started to punch her,” she said. “The defendant continued to assault by jumping on top of her as she was on the ground.

“She said she could taste blood in her mouth and began to panic that the defendant would not stop assaulting her.”

The Northern Echo: Liam ShoneLiam Shone (Image: Cleveland Police)

Shone, of Hewley Street, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm after he was arrested at the scene.

John Nixon, mitigating, said: “He is both horrified and disgusted that he could have offended in this way."

Recorder Thomas Moran told Shone he had carried out an ‘appalling’ attack on the woman as he jailed him for 26 months after the victim was left feeling ‘anxious within the confines of her own home’.

Shone was also made subject of a ten-year restraining order to keep him away from the woman and the stables.