Three years' custody for Sheffield teen who burgled four homes in seven days

A Sheffield teenager has been sentenced to three years in custody after he admitted carrying out four burglaries across the city in the space of a week.

Friday, 9th August 2019, 9:48 am

Brandon Lee Worthington, of Wetherby YOI, York Road, carried out the first burglary on March 23 this year, when he broke into a property in Springvale Road, Crookes, after forcing entry through a bay window at the property.

Sheffield Crown Court was told how one of the occupants at the property is a serving police officer, and came down at 5.45am the following morning to find a number of items had been stolen, including his car keys and car.

Stephanie Hollis, prosecuting, said: “Stolen from the living room was a bag which contained part of his police uniform, including his epaulets, and his wallet which contained his driving license and a police photo ID.”

Brandon Lee Worthington, 18, was sentenced to three years in a young offenders' institute on August 6 for a string of burglaries carried out in the city in March this year. Picture: South Yorkshire Police

Worthington was caught on CCTV shortly after the burglary taking place, making transactions using the complainant’s stolen bank card.

The next burglary was carried out the following evening, when Worthington followed a similar pattern, and broke into a property in Welwyn Road, Gleadless, and stole the occupant’s purse, car keys and car.

Ms Hollis said the vehicle stolen by Worthington was a new Seat Ibiza, valued at £15,800.

Worthington was captured exiting the vehicle from the passenger side door at the WFG service station in Gleadless, where the teen made one of a number of fraudulent transactions using the second complainant’s card.

A discarded cigarette butt with traces of Worthington’s DNA was also found at the scene.

The third burglary was carried out at a property located ‘just 200 metres away’ in Elstree Road, Gleadless on March 26, Ms Hollis told the court.

The victim’s car and wallet were stolen from the property, and four fraudulent transactions were made on their bank card in the hours following the burglary.

The fourth victim was a 73-year-old man, whose property in Carson Mount, Gleadless was burgled in the early hours of March 30.

Access was gained through a small kitchen window, and the occupant’s VW vehicle, which he had been given as a 70th birthday present three years earlier, was stolen from his garage.

His house keys were also stolen during the break-in, leaving the victim locked in his home until a neighbour answered his call for help.

The defendant was also captured on CCTV, using a bank card that was stolen during a burglary in Woodseats overnight on March 16.

Worthington was arrested at his mother’s home in Parson Cross on April 9, and was remanded into custody at a Young Offenders’ Institute in Wetherby until today’s hearing.

The defendant was just 17-years-old when he committed the string of offences, but turned 18 last month.

He pleaded guilty to four offences of burglary, four offences of theft and four offences of fraud, during two hearings.

The teen said others were involved in the burglaries, but refused to name them.

Worthington, who suffers from ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), has previously been brought before the courts, after being convicted of possessing a knife in 2014, and of burgling Mount Tabor church, Southey in 2017.

Rebecca Tanner, defending, said Worthington ‘didn’t have the easiest upbringing’ and was ‘estranged’ from his family when he committed the offences.

She suggested he was under the ‘grasp’ of older members of his peer group ‘who, frankly, knew exactly what they were doing’.

Judge Peter Kelson QC questioned this line of mitigation; and said that while he accepted that others were involved in the spate of burglaries, because Worthington had refused to name them it was not possible to verify the suggestion he had been coerced into carrying out the offences.

Judge Kelson said that while he took Worthington’s age and mitigating factors into consideration, he must balance that against the ‘pain, suffering and sorrow’ caused to his victims.

He sentenced Worthington to three years in a young offenders’ institute.

- South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide a custody image of Worthington