Getaway driver caught with £15,000 of stolen clothing from Sidmouth boutique

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A getaway driver was caught with £15,000 of designer clothing in his van just 500 yards from a burgled Sidmouth boutique.

Wayne Hall agreed to drive to Sidmouth to take part in a raid at I Want I Need in the early hours of the morning but was caught after sharp-eyed neighbours alerted the police.

His white Transit van was stopped just after he had driven across the ford in the River Sid on his way out of town.

Hall, aged 45, of Power Place, South Stanley, County Durham, who was living in Dorset at the time, admitted burglary and was jailed for nine months, suspended for two years by Judge Graham Cottle at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: “This was a well planned burglary but there is no suggestion you were the brains behind it. You were the driver; that was your role in this crime.

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“You took others from Dorset to Sidmouth to carry out a burglary on premises which were identified as a target by others and £10,000 to £15,000 of clothing was recovered.”

Jonathan Barnes, prosecuting, said the Fore Street shop was broken into in the early hours of October 2, 2014.

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A neighbour living next to the shop saw men carrying boxes and racks of clothing to a nearby car park and called the police, who found Hall’s van shortly afterwards next to the ford over River Sid.

They found his fingerprints on some of the clothing in the back and another man was later arrested and jailed for 14 months for his role in the raid at another court.

Julia Brassington, defending, said Hall has been diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia and was bullied into taking part in the burglary by others who offered him £100 to drive from Christchurch to Sidmouth.

He has since moved back to live near his family in County Durham, where his mental health problems are being treated.

She said he has also sought help for a drink problem which has led him to drink 15 to 16 cans of lager a night.

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