The Northern Echo has pieced together five thieves, abusers, and drink drivers who have faced justice this week.

All of the cases below were heard at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court in County Durham and has seen people given fines, community service, and conditions to follow in the future.

Five County Durham in court

Here is who appeared in court this week:

Assault and criminal damage

Gavin Engleby, 47, of Shawdon Close, Ryhope, admitted to assaulting a man and causing criminal damage to the man's bicycle, both on July 17, 2023.

Engleby appeared before the Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court on March 5, 2024.

The 47-year-old was given a 12-month conditional discharge for the assault charge.

He was also ordered to pay £200 in compensation to the man he assaulted.

On the charge of criminal damage, Engleby was ordered to pay further compensation of £581 for the damaged bicycle.

The court noted Engleby's guilty plea in both verdicts.

The total cost, including an £85 charge for costs to Crown Prosecution Service and a £26 surcharge, are to be paid in monthly instalments of £50 beginning on April 2.


Lee Henley, 35, of Shafto Street, Newcastle, admitted to two charges of theft at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court.

On February 27, 2024, he stole four men's Regatta coats worth £200 from Boyes Ltd in Consett, and on March 1, 2024, he stole Lurpak butter, valued at £32.90, from Village Store, also in Consett.

In both instances, Henley pleaded guilty to theft, when he appeared in court on March 6, 2024.

The shoplifter was given an eight-month conditional discharge and was ordered to repay the £232.90 resulting from his thefts.

Henley was also asked to pay £85 in costs to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Drink driver

Toni Marsh, 35, of Pateley Moor Crescent, Darlington, was found guilty of operating a Vauxhall Corsa while above the legal alcohol limit.

The offence occurred on September 7, 2023, when Marsh was discovered to have 125 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

Marsh pled guilty and appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court on March 4.

The court issued a community order requiring Marsh to complete 200 hours of unpaid work within a year.

Additionally, Marsh's driving privileges have been suspended for 29 months but may be reduced by 29 weeks upon completion of a course.

The conviction also carried a charge of £85 in court costs and a £114 surcharge to support victim services.


Chelsea McStravick, 29, of Kempton Court, Darlington, has been fined for burgling a Morrisons till area and stealing cash in Darlington.

According to court records, McStravick committed the offence on November 6, 2023, at a Morrisons' Whiteheart Crescent store in Darlington.

She trespassed into the till area and made off with £50 in cash.

The defendant appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court on March 5, 2024, where she pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and the court ordered McStravick to compensate the merchant for the stolen amount.

Aside from the £50 compensation, McStravik has been fined £80; she also has been ordered to pay £85 legal costs and a £32 surcharge to fund victim services.

The court has approved a collection order for the fines, which McStravick will be paying off in monthly instalments of £20, starting from March 19.

Causing suffering to animals

Pamela Mary Brown, 69, of Browney Lane, Durham, has been given an 11-week curfew for causing unnecessary suffering to two horses.

In court documents, Brown neglected the well-being of the equines identified as Rosealee and Topsy between January and May, 2023.

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Brown pleaded guilty to ineffective equine dentistry care, inadequate investigation, or addressing of the horses’ underweight and poor bodily conditions.

Brown was sentenced at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court on March 6.

She was ordered to comply with curfew from 9pm to 7am daily at her caravan.

The order lasts until May 21, includes electronic monitoring, and allows three metres of movement for toilet visits.

She is also disqualified from dealing with horses for ten years and must pay a £114 victim services surcharge and £300 in costs, at £20 per month starting April 3.