Burglars avoid jail for raid at antiques shop

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.

Two men who broke into a Whaley Bridge business and stole jewellery have been spared jail.

Police were called in the early hours of November 20 when a couple living near to Antiques on Market Street heard glass being broken. The couple looked outside and saw two males running away, and were able to see part of the vehicle’s registration number.

Officers later stopped the car in High Lane and found several jewellery boxes and a chisel inside the car, prosecutor Jennifer Fitzgerald said.

Driver Jonnie James Gardner and passenger Alan Douglas Cosgrove were arrested.

Cosgrove told officers the burglary was not planned, but Gardner said it had been pre-meditated and the pair of them had “cased the shop beforehand,” the court heard.

In interview, Cosgrove said he had asked Gardner to drive him to Whaley Bridge and once there, they had smashed the window of the shop with a chisel and stolen various items of jewellery.

Cosgrove, 52, of Conway Towers, Brinnington, Stockport, admitted burglary.

Gardner, 51, of Charlotte Street, Portwood, Stockport, admitted burglary, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and using a vehicle without insurance.

John Richards, defending, said: “Mr Cosgrove is 52 years of age and his long-term partner is very, very ill.”

He added that at the time off the offence, Cosgrove’s partner was due to be discharged from hospital but the gas in their property had been cut off because of a debt run up by a previous tenant.

“Mr Gardner has a drug habit. He uses three bags of heroin a day and £20 of amphetamines a day,” he added.

“He went along because of misguided loyalty.”

Sentencing them, District Judge Andrew Davidson said: “The bottom line is custody but I’m going to suspend it for 12 months.

“It’s a close call, if you commit any further offences or breach any requirements of the order, custody will be imposed.

“The justification is that although you’ve not been in court recently, you have been regular career criminals with a whole range of serious offences with a plethora of different sentences including custody.”

Both were sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months.

Cosgrove was given a 26-week curfew from 9pm to 7am.

Gardner was also given a 12-month supervision order, a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement and fined £110.

Both must pay £93.50 compensation, an £80 surcharge and £85 costs.