Two men were swiftly arrested at, or near to the scene of a ram raid at a sports clothing store, a court heard.

Police were alerted after a vehicle was reverse-rammed through a temporary wood covering and shutters at the entrance to JD Sports, at the Arnison Centre, Durham, on Sunday, March 17 this year.

Durham Crown Court was told the temporary wood covering was in place at the store entrance after a previous attempted ram raid at the premises, in November last year.

The Northern Echo: Jordan Douglas, left, and Mark Riddell, jailed for their ram raid at JD Sports at Durham's Arnison

Shada Mellor, prosecuting, said 14 CCTV cameras at the shopping centre were covering the store from various angles, and, as a result, police were quickly notified of the forced vehicle entrance at 11.20pm on March 17.

The report stated that two men were suspected to be still at the premises and when officers arrived, Jordan Douglas was arrested, trying to flee the scene, while his accomplice, Mark Riddell, was found trying to hide behind a shopping trolley.

He appeared to be in a highly highly intoxicated.

Efforts had been made to steal £3,414 worth of mainly clothing items, while the value of the extensive damage caused at the store was not specified.

Riddell, 42, of Felstead Square, and 34-year-old Douglas, of East Vines, both Sunderland, each admitted a charge of burglary at a previous hearing,

The court was told Douglas was already facing offences of possessing an offensive weapon in public, criminal damage and failing to answer bail.

The Northern Echo: Jordan Douglass jailed for a total of 24 months for both ram raid and house damage attack

Those charges arose from damage caused to a house in the Thorney Close area of Sunderland, by Douglas, who was armed with a hammer and making threats to the householder and his partner in the early hours of August 9, last year.

Ms Mellor said the defendant smashed windows at the house and a car parked outside in what he, on his own admission, referred to as a “revenge attack”.

Douglas was said to have 20 convictions for 47 offences on his record, including relevant cases of burglary, attempted burglary, possessing an offensive weapon and criminal damage.

Riddell’s record features 33 convictions for 67 offences, including several for burglary and attempted burglary.

Ms Mellor said Riddell received a 52-month jail total term for four burglaries in 2021 for which he was on licence release, part-way through that sentence, at the time of last month’s ram raid.

The Northern Echo: Mark Riddell on recall to prison and also sentenced to 16-month sentence for his part in the ram

As a result, he has been recalled to prison, to serve the outstanding part of that sentence.

Both defendants appeared at the court via video link, in Douglas’s case from nearby HMP Durham, and Riddell from prison in Leeds.

Sophie Allinson-Howells, for Douglas, said he was “honest and open” enough to concede the house damage offence was “a revenge attack”, in reprisal for previously being assaulted, he would say by the male resident of the house he targeted.

“It would have been all too easy for him to have downplayed it as, ‘a drunken mistake’, but he has been honest with the Probation Service.

She said, as with the burglary offence, he openly made admissions at the lower court.

The Northern Echo:

Ms Allinson-Howells said the defendant has struggled with substance misuse and would be suitable for an alcohol treatment order but was “realistic” as to the options before the court at the sentencing hearing.

She added that he is receiving ongoing corrective surgery for a serious hand injury suffered when he was assaulted, by the alleged injured party in the criminal damage offence.

Relating to the ram raid offence, she conceded there was, “some degree of planning”, but added that she could not accept it was, “significant planning.”

Katie Spence, for Riddell, said when he was released from prison on licence for the burglary matters for which he was sentenced in 2021, “he didn’t feel like he had anywhere to fit in”, telling the court he believes he may suffer with PTSD.

Miss Spence said her client was ashamed of his role in the ram raid, conceding, “it was a terrible job”.

She said it was a fairly impulsive offence with, “no evidence of a significant degree of planning, other than attending at the scene with a car, for which not a great deal of thought went into.”

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But Judge Nathan Adams described it as, “a reckless act that caused a lot of damage.”

The judge said while there would have been some degree of pre-planning it was, “reckless and only partly thought through.”

He imposed a 16-month further prison sentence on Riddell, to be served concurrently with his licence recall period, while Douglas received a total two-year prison sentence, 12 months each for the ram raid and the house damage offences, to be served consecutively.