Trio jailed for burglaries haul

Leslie Andrews and Jason Walsh
Leslie Andrews and Jason Walsh

Three members of a burglary gang who struck at around a dozen homes in Wigan are now beginning jail sentences totalling 13-and-a-half years.

An investigation across the North West found that the crew were responsible for no fewer than 31 break-ins and 18 car thefts in just over a month last summer.

Five people were arrested last December over the spree, which took place between June 10 and July 14 at various locations in Wigan, elsewhere in Greater Manchester, and Lancashire, Cheshire and Merseyside.

Leslie Andrews, 31, and Jason Walsh, 22, and a 17-year-old youth all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle and steal motor vehicles when they appeared in the dock at Bolton Crown Court.

Andrews, formerly of Hayes Avenue, Prescot, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years and Walsh, of Pollitt Avenue, St Helens, was given a six-year term.

The youth, who is from St Helens but cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a two-year youth rehabilitation order.

Speaking after the case, a spokesman for Wigan West Police said: "A number of the burglaries took place at night and when the victims were at home.

"Investigations took place across Wigan borough, Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire.

"The three offenders were subsequently arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit burglaries of dwellings."

Another two arrested by police at the same time, a 23-year-old woman and a 20-year-old woman, both from the St Helens area, have yet to be dealt with as a result of the inquiry.

The crown court sentences are the latest recorded successes for police tackling burglars in the borough.

Earlier this month two men were arrested after a break-in at a garage in City Road.

Thomas Stewart, 21 of City Road, and James Aherne, 19, of Lambton Road, were convicted of burglary and jailed for 26 and 22 weeks respectively.

n Ministers have been urged to renationalise probation services following an "extremely worrying" rise in the number of supervised offenders charged with serious crimes.

A total of 517 reviews were triggered in 2016/17.