Woman stole vi­tal lap­top in bur­glary

Stolen com­puter with four years of grad­u­ate’s re­search still miss­ing

Midweek Visiter - - Front Page - BY LYNDA ROUGHLEY vis­iternews@south­portvis­iter.co.uk

AWOMAN bur­glar, who stole a grad­u­ate’s lap­top with four years of re­search on it, was begged in court to re­veal where the com­puter is now.

As Amy Ne­wall was led to the cells at Liver­pool Crown Court to start a two-year jail term two women shouted out to her, “Where’s the lap­top Amy?” but got no re­sponse.

They left the pub­lic gallery af­ter ex­chang­ing an­gry words with three women there to sup­port Ne­wall.

The judge heard that the vic­tim, Kate White, had hoped to use the ma­te­rial she had amassed on her Ap­pleMac to start her own busi­ness but the theft has jeop­ar­dised it and she has also had to move home as she no longer felt safe there.

Ne­wall, 26, who wept in the dock, had pleaded guilty to break­ing into the vic­tim’s home in Bed­ford Road, Boo­tle and at­tempt­ing to break into an­other home in Bal­liol Road, also in Boo­tle, and stealing two mo­bile phones.

Kate Gaskell, pros­e­cut­ing, told the court that Ne­wall and an un­known man broke into Ms White’s home while she was out tak­ing her dog to the vets on Septem­ber 14 this year.

When she re­turned later that af­ter­noon she found a rear win­dow had been smashed and the lap­top taken.

A neigh­bour’s CCTV footage showed Ne­wall and a man at the rear of the prop­erty and when this was cir­cu­lated on Face­book a name was given and po­lice iden­ti­fied her from the footage.

The same day the duo had tried to break into a house in Bal­liol Road while the oc­cu­pier was out. “They re­peat­edly used a brick to smash the pa­tio door but some­thing spooked them and they made off.

“They caused £250 worth of dam­age,” said Miss Gaskell.

She told the court that min­utes af­ter the first bur­glary Ne­wall went to a phone shop to try to sell the Ap­pleMac, which cost £2,500 when new, but as she did not have the pin num­ber the shop keeper re­fused to buy it.

Af­ter she had left he re­alised she had stolen two mo­bile phones worth £200.

Ne­wall, of West­min­ster Road, Kirk­dale, has pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions in­clud­ing bur­glary, theft and han­dling.

Charles Lan­der, de­fend­ing, said that Ne­wall has schizophre­nia and a de­pres­sive ill­ness and had been sec­tioned.

She had at­tended the po­lice sta­tion on re­quest and was kept in cus­tody, which has been her first ex­pe­ri­ence of such con­fine­ment.

She had not been tak­ing her med­i­ca­tion at the time of the of­fences and has no rec­ol­lec­tion of them.

“She is will­ing to en­gage with the men­tal health team,” he added.

Judge Robert Trevor-Jones said, “Bur­glar­ies of other peo­ple’s homes is a very se­ri­ous of­fence.

“It is an in­va­sion of their prop­erty.”

He pointed out that the theft of the lap­top meant the loss of four years data which had in­volved time and ef­fort for the owner and she can no longer bear to live at her home.

The at­tempted bur­glary had been at a fam­ily home and it had trau­ma­tised the chil­dren of the house­holder.

The judge said he took into ac­count her men­tal health is­sues. “You clearly have a prob­lem.”

Amy Ne­wall: stole woman’s lap­top

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