8:30am Friday 20th January 2012
By Kathie Griffiths
A talented sportsman who admitted breaking into a cricket club – stealing trophies and £1,500 in cash – has been spared jail and is now free to follow a career as a personal trainer.
Dean O’Toole, 18, appeared at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court yesterday to be warned he was being given a last chance.
Instead of custody, he was ordered to pay £260 compensation towards the £2,250 damage caused, to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work, supervised by the probation service for 12 months along with a support programme, and to go to a restorative justice conference with a representative from Idle Cricket Club.
Chairman of the bench Michael Kesterton said: “You are only 18. It’s an age you should be able to start a life that is positive. You have got a chance – take it.”
The court heard how O’Toole, of Leafield Crescent, Eccleshill, was orphaned at the age of one, was taken into the care system which was not a good experience and was then taken in by his sister at the age of seven and had become a promising rugby player, playing for two sides.
His solicitor, Amjad Khan, said later life had been going well until O’Toole fell in with a wrong crowd and was not living at home.
Mr Khan said his client had just happened to be with friends on December 13, the day of the burglary at Idle Cricket Club in Cavendish Road. He had not intended to do it. He was a “complete idiot to allow himself to get involved,” said Mr Khan.
The other person with him, caught on CCTV during the break-in, was masked and O’Toole has never given police his details. But O’Toole said he was not forced into doing it.
During the burglary, entry was gained by smashing a window, a safe was forced and a trophy cabinet smashed. O’Toole was arrested after police recognised him from CCTV stills.
Mr Khan said O’Toole was now “extremely remorseful” and was hoping to go on a course at Leeds College to become a personal trainer.
Mr Kesterton said: “I hear you are about to start a course to end up working in a gym and might even become a rugby player again because you obviously had talent. That talent was spotted but you decided not to let it grow. That talent might be retried. Good luck. I hope I never see you again.”
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group