‘Holiday’ turned to crime spree for Clitheroe pair

Liam Nuttall, defendent from Clitheroe
Liam Nuttall, defendent from Clitheroe

Two Clitheroe teenagers who went on a “holiday” to Cornwall ended up spending time in Exeter prison.

Blackburn magistrates heard the pair stole more than £1,500 from the safe of the hotel where they had been staying and then left in the dead of night without paying their £1,922 bill.

Wesley Russell, defendent from Clitheroe

Wesley Russell, defendent from Clitheroe

To make matters worse, they also took a set of master keys which resulted in the hotel having to pay £11,500 to have every lock on the premises changed.

Wesley Cyril Russell (18), of George Street, Clitheroe, and Liam Nuttall (18), of De Lacy Street, Clitheroe, pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary at the Sandy Lodge Hotel, Newquay, making off without payment and using criminally obtained cash.

Russell was sentenced to community supervision for 18 months and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Nuttall was made subject to community supervision for 18 months, ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 in compensation.

Russell also pleaded guilty to theft of a Blackberry phone, wallet and cash.

The court heard the duo stayed at the Sandy Lodge for 10 days. During that time on repeated visits to reception to get change for the pool table Russell managed to build up the combination for the safe.

Armed with the combination the pair sneaked down at 1 a.m. and took cash and the master keys from the safe and £220 from behind the bar. They returned to their room and then left via the fire escape before getting a taxi. They stayed at two other hotels, using money they had stolen to pay their bill.

Parveen Akhtar (prosecuting) said the theft of the phone, wallet and cash had happened while their owner was “skinny dipping” with friends in the early hours of the morning and had left his clothes on the beach with Russell.

Michael Blacklidge (defending) Russell, said his client had been living with his grandparents in Clitheroe.

“He went out one night and didn’t come back,” said Mr Blacklidge. “He went down to Newquay and, having been arrested spent four weeks in custody in Exeter jail. That was a harrowing experience for this young man who has behaved stupidly. He accepts these are serious criminal offences.”

Andrew Church-Taylor (defending Nuttall) said the two had gone on a legitimate holiday to Cornwall.

“There was no intention to commit offences, but once it started things snowballed,” said Mr Church-Taylor.

Passing sentence the chairman of the magistrates said they were dealing with serious offences: “You have both come extremely close to being given a custodial sentence,” he told them.