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Carlisle burglars await sentence

Petteril Street

TWO Carlisle men are due to be sentenced next month for a city garage break-in.

Tony McNeil, 27, and Leighton Lewis, 26, both admit one charge of burglary with intent to steal. This follows an incident involving the garage of a property at Petteril Street, Carlisle.

At Carlisle Crown Court today (WED), Judge Peter Davies was told McNeil and Lewis had each submitted a written basis for their respective guilty pleas.

McNeil had stated that at the time of the crime, on October 31 last year, he was in possession of an axe – “essentially for protection”.

That basis was acceptable, said prosecutor Gerard Rogerson, who told the court: “That is in line with comments made in interview. He said he had knowledge of the size and build of the home owner, and that he took the axe with him – when pushed by police – as a weapon.”

Meanwhile Lewis claimed he didn’t know the axe was in his partner-in-crime’s possession during their joint burglary venture. But that claim, said Mr Rogerson, was not accepted by the prosecution.

As a result, there will need to be a further hearing at which a judge will resolve the factual dispute after hearing evidence and before passing sentence.

McNeil, of Chesterholm, and Lewis, of Lediard Avenue, both Carlisle, will return to the crown court for that hearing on February 11. In the meantime, McNeil was remanded in custody and Lewis was granted bail.

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