Here are some of the most serious offenders who faced justice at Teesside Crown Court in April.

They include rapists, burglars, drug dealers, armed robbers and violent thugs.

Violent feud

A long-running feud descended into dangerous car chases and violence when two gangs clashed in broad daylight.

John Wright armed himself with a baseball as the two warring sides pursued each other around the streets of a County Durham village.

CCTV footage showed several cars chasing each other before the car driven by the complainant reversed at high speed into a Mercedes being driven by Wright.

Teesside Crown Court heard how people jumped out of the Mercedes and launched an attack on their victim as he tried to flee the scene.

Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, the trouble flared when Wright and his accomplices turned up at the complainant’s sister’s home on Railway Street, Craghead, and started smashing up two cars.

The court watched as the VW Passat rammed into the Mercedes before Wright jumped out of the car and started attacking the victim through the car window.

Mr Abrahams said Wright and an unknown man chased down the victim before battering him with a baseball bat and slashing at him with a scythe.

The Northern Echo: John WrightJohn Wright (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Wright, of Fellside View, Burnhope, County Durham, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, criminal damage, violent disorder, and possession of an offensive weapon, following the violence of August 26 last year.

The court heard how the defendant had previous convictions for weapons offence dating back a decade.

Judge Timothy Stead locked up Wright for a total of three years for his role in the violence.

“It is clear that the two groups had a longstanding feud with animosity flowing both ways. It was tit-for-tat in the early stages but matters escalated to this event in August last year,” he said.


Family dealings

A father and son drug dealing team were caught when an undercover police sting when an officer bought cocaine and heroin off the pair.

John Hayes and his son, Jay, worked together to deal drugs in the Middlesbrough area before they caught the attention of Cleveland Police.

The 42-year-old father-of-eight directed operations while his then 16-year-old son was on the street dealing the Class A drugs, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The undercover officer bought drugs from them on nine occasions between May and July 2021.

The Northern Echo: John HayesJohn Hayes (Image: Cleveland Police)

John Hayes and his now 19-year-old son, both of St Barnabus Road, Middlesbrough, each pleaded guilty to two charges of possession of a Class A drug with the intent to supply.

Recorder Felicity Davies said: “John Hayes, you started an enterprise selling Class A drugs on the streets of Middlesbrough. Jay Hayes was working as a street dealer.

“John, you had control of others, particularly your son.”

John Hayes was jailed for two years and eight months while his son, Jay, was made the subject of an 18-month community order.

He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and attend 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days.


Perverted pair

A depraved pervert who systematically abused three young people alongside another paedophile has been jailed for almost 40 years.

John Smith repeatedly preyed on the three victims over a protracted period with his co-accused, Jeffrey Brown, joining in with some of the horrific abuse.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the pair carried out their campaign of sexual abuse between the 1980s and 2000s – with many of the offences taking place in the Darlington area.

Judge Timothy Stead told the pensioner that his sexual offences were some of the most serious he could have committed.

The Northern Echo: John SmithJohn Smith (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Smith, of Heron Drive, Darlington, pleaded guilty to a catalogue of sexual offences after listening to the prosecution outline its case against the 76-year-old.

The perverted pensioner admitted carrying out a series of rapes, gross indecency charges, and sexual assaults on three young victims.

He was given a 37-year extended prison sentence with 35 years in prison followed by two years on extended licence.

The Northern Echo: Jeffrey BrownJeffrey Brown (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Smith’s co-accused, Jeffrey Brown, of Gresham Road, Middlesbrough, was jailed for 28 years in a separate hearing last week.

The 73-year-old was sentenced for a series of offences, including rapes, gross indecency and indecent assaults.


'Reprehensible' rapist

A rapist who assaulted his victim when she fell asleep on her sofa has been jailed for his ‘reprehensible’ attack.

Stephen Farmer admitted taking advantage of the woman’s vulnerable position when she confronted him about his behaviour after she woke up to find him gone.

The victim became suspicious when she awoke to find her bra had been undone and the 31-year-old was nowhere to be seen.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the victim was attacked in her own home and had been left feeling suicidal and vulnerable.

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said Farmer told his victim that he had undone her bra as she was having a fit and, in another message, he admitted having sex with her while she slept but stopped when she didn’t wake up.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she no longer feels safe in her home and no longer trusts her own judgement.

She added: “I feel violated and dirty by what he has done to me.”

The Northern Echo: Stephen FarmerStephen Farmer (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Farmer, of Bruce Glazier Terrace, Shotton Colliery, County Durham, pleaded guilty to rape as a result of his assault on November 12, 2021.

Judge Jonathan Carroll branded Farmer’s actions as ‘reprehensible’ as he jailed him for five years and seven months.

He said: “She was shattered and just fell asleep, a perfectly innocent thing to do in her own home – what you did to her was reprehensible.


Female robbers

A pair of armed robbers have been locked up after terrorising a shopkeeper and a taxi driver within hours of each other.

Christina Youll and Joanne Ballie armed themselves with knives before smashing their way into a shop minutes after closing time and stealing cigarettes and alcohol.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the pair threatened the shop worker after he came out of the stockroom to confront them.

Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting, said the pair used a brick to smash the door window before forcing their way into Booze Box in Hemlington, Middlesbrough.

Miss Lamballe said the pair filled a shopping basket with cigarettes and alcohol before leaving the shop just after 10pm on February 20.

The court heard how the pair then called a taxi to pick them up from Elmhurst Gardens, Hemlington, and take them, and another man, to the Asda in Stockton in the early hours of the next day.

The taxi driver then took them to Norton before returning to Hemlington to drop them off.

It was a this point that Youll produced a knife and held it to the taxi driver’s throat before demanding cash.

The driver got out of his car and Baillie started punching him to the face before taking £70 in cash, an iPhone and car keys.

The Northern Echo: Christina YoullChristina Youll (Image: Cleveland Police)

Youll, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to two robberies and possession of a bladed article.

The Northern Echo: Joanne BaillieJoanne Baillie (Image: Cleveland Police)

Her co-accused, Baillie, of Fairfax Court, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to the same charges as well as three additional offences of assaulting a police officer.

The court heard how the 42-year-old had kicked and spat at two officers when they responded to a call about her welfare in November last year.

Judge Christopher Smith jailed Youll for five years and two months for all offences and Baillie for a total of five years and four months.

“The shopkeeper was locking up on his own when you forced entry to the shop and when he came to see what the noise was, he was confronted by the pair of you with hoods up and both armed with knives,” he said.


Violent bully

A man who terrorised his partner for several months in a campaign of bullying and abuse has been jailed.

Kane Martin was arrested after he kicked and spat at the woman when she refused to go out and buy him booze but she told police this was just the latest assault she had suffered at his hands.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 36-year-old’s behaviour changed when he couldn’t find work and turned to alcohol.

Elisha Marsay, prosecuting, said neighbours called the police in March when they heard a woman screaming and a young girl shouting ‘get off my mam’.

The Northern Echo: Kane MartinKane Martin (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Martin, formerly of Eastbourne Road, Darlington, pleaded guilty to three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one of common assault between July last year and March this year.

Jonathan Gittins, mitigating, said his client’s remand in custody had given him the ‘wakeup call’ to address his alcohol problem.

Recorder Taryn Turner branded Martin a ‘violent thug and bully’ as she jailed him for 16-months.

“The police were alerted to your bad behaviour,” she said. “On each occasion, the complainant in relation to your violence was your former partner.

“You are a violent thug and bully, and in drink you are quite capable of raising your feet and lashing out and causing not insignificant injuries.

“The last offence occurred in front of her daughter who you threatened to kick in the head.”

Martin was also made subject to a five-year restraining order.


Vehicle arsonist

A firebug who caused around £25,000 worth of damage to cars when he went on three arson sprees has been branded a dangerous offender.

David Jenkins admits carrying out 12 counts of arson after a number of vehicles were set alight in Hartlepool in incidents on February 19 and 28, and August 18 last year.

Cleveland Police received reports of fires on Caledonian Road, Baden Street, Shrewsbury Street, Lansdowne Road, Osborne Road, and Brinkburn Road, all in Hartlepool.

Fire crews were called to tackle eight arsons on August 18 after the drink-addled 32-year-old carried out his last spate of attacks.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the arsonist was under the influence of drink when he carried out his campaign of fire starting.

Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, said the defendant was identified by his brother following one night of destruction.

He said Jenkins torched two cars on the first and second occasion but took it to another level on the third time when he targeted eight cars in one night.

The arson attacks on the cars, which included Range Rovers and Volkswagens, resulted in numerous vehicles being severely damaged.

The Northern Echo: David JenkinsDavid Jenkins (Image: Cleveland Police)

Jenkins, of Lime Crescent, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to 12 charges of arson.

Paul Green, mitigating, said his client’s pre-sentence report showed that the offences were out of character and he had shown genuine remorse for his actions.

Judge Jonathan Carroll branded Jenkins a dangerous offender as he passed a seven-year sentence.

“Over the months, you engaged in a campaign of fire setting following the same pattern, targeting cars, and setting light to them and causing very considerable damage," he said.


Drug dealer

A drug dealer who used his own father to ferry him about has been locked up after police spotted him acting suspiciously.

John Pink came to the attention of officers when he was dropped off as a house by his father before coming and going a couple of times.

Teesside Crown Court heard how cocaine was recovered when the car was pulled over and searched in the South Bank area of Middlesbrough.

Rachel Masters said a search of his parents resulted in the discovery of more of the Class A drug before the police attended his own home and found more cocaine stashed away.

Miss Masters said a search of Pink’s home resulted in more cocaine being recovered and in total around £8,500 of the Class A drug was seized.

The court heard how Pink’s father was not involved in his son’s drug dealing enterprise and was allowed to drive away after the car was searched.

The Northern Echo: John PinkJohn Pink (Image: Cleveland Police)

Pink, of Hollowfield, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply a Class A drug following his arrest on February 2 this year.

John Nixon, mitigating, said his client was forced to start dealing when he lost his job and racked up debts from his own personal use.

Judge Richard Bennett said: “It is rather sad and tragic that you have fallen prey to drug addiction which has resulted in you committing these offences.

“The quantity of drugs which adds up to £8,500 does aggravate your position.”

Pink was jailed for three years and eight months.


Weapon collection

A drug addict who was caught with crack cocaine, heroin and cannabis has been locked up after an ‘arsenal of weapons’ was recovered from his car.

Nathan McKenzie-Owens was initially arrested on Christmas Eve last year when he was found in possession of heroin and cannabis.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 42-year-old was arrested less than two weeks later - and this time he was caught with crack cocaine and heroin.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said the defendant was arrested for a third time when he was spotted driving erratically around Hartlepool and police recovered three knives and a baseball bat from his car.

She said police recovered £220 worth of crack cocaine when they raided the defendant’s house on January 4 this year.

Miss Masters said a search of the vehicle resulted in three knives being located as well as a baseball bat.

The Northern Echo: Nathan McKenzie-OwensNathan McKenzie-Owens (Image: Cleveland Police)

McKenzie-Owens, of Gloucester Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply a Class A drug, two charges of possession of heroin, one charge of possession of cannabis, and a further four offences of possession of three knives and a baseball bat.

Robert Mochrie, mitigating, said his client understood that a custodial sentence was inevitable despite his early pleas of guilt.

Judge Richard Bennett said: “You were living with drug dealers who were using you to supply users on the street.”

McKenzie-Owens was jailed for a total of three years and one month for all offences.


Burglary expedition

A pair of young criminals who burgled a shed and attempted to burgle a garage before threatening witnesses with a knife were on a 'burglary expedition’.

Dale Taylor and Tyler Colligan were both arrested after they stole a pushbike and attempted to steal the motorbikes.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the following day they spotted one of the witnesses with her brother and threatened them with the knife while wearing their t-shirts around their faces in an attempt to mask their identity.

Sam Faulks, prosecuting, said the pair chased one of the witnesses on a motorbike when he attempted to flee the scene.

Taylor, 20, and his 19-year-old co-accused, Colligan, were spotted prowling around the Park Avenue area of Thornaby in the early hours of the morning in August 2022.

The pair set off a shed alarm when they stole a bike but the victim was able to identify them as they fled the area.

Mr Faulks said they later tried to break into a shed and garage but were chased off by the householder before they turned on him and threatened to ‘slash’ him up.

The court heard how Taylor then messaged the daughter of the burglary victim asking why he had been locked up.

Taylor and Colligan then confronted the teenager when they spotted her walking through the town with her brother.

The Northern Echo: Dale TaylorDale Taylor (Image: Cleveland Police)

Taylor, of Beechwood Road, Thornaby, pleaded guilty to a non-dwelling burglary, attempted burglary and witness intimidation following the events of August 2022.

The 20-year-old also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving after he was spotted riding a motorbike through Stockton town centre in November 2022 and pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking after a stolen Land Rover Discovery he was a passenger in smashed into a pursuing police car in August last year.

And Colligan, of Oxbridge Lane, Stockton, pleaded guilty to non-dwelling burglary, attempted burglary, and witness intimidation.

Robert Mochrie, mitigating, said his client was only 17 at the time of the charges he faced and should be sentenced accordingly.

Judge Jonathan Carroll told the pair that he believed they went out on a ‘planned burglary expedition’.

Taylor was sentenced to 25 and a half months in a young offenders’ institute while Colligan was given an 11-month sentence suspended for two years.

The 19-year-old was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, attend 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and was made subject of a six-month trial monitoring order.