A FRIGHTENED mother let her teenage stepson store more than £60,000 worth of stolen property at her home.
Bernice Grainger, 56, and her former husband Allen Grainger, 51, stored thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and electrical items at their home in Juliet Avenue, Bebington, which their stepson and a gang of burglars from Ellesmere Port, Bebington, Rock Ferry and Birkenhead had stolen.
Allen Grainger helped to unload a widescreen television and took a wallet and SIM card from his teenage stepson, while Bernice Grainger sold a stolen engagement ring and jewellery the gang had taken during a £60,000 robbery at a home in Hargrave, Chester.
Appearing before Chester Crown Court on Thursday, Allen Grainger, Bernice Grainger, Matthew Wallace, 22, of Rosalind Avenue, Bebington, and Jamie Lane (senior), 33, pleaded guilty to various charges of handling and receiving stolen goods following a spate of burglaries across Chester, Neston and Helsby in summer last year.
Prosecuting, Julian Goode said the burglars were arrested following an operation by Cheshire Constabulary to crack down on burglaries in rural areas.
On August 4, 2011, the team of four burglars – who have since been placed behind bars – broke into a family home in Hargrave, Chester, and stole more than £60,000 worth of electrical goods and jewellery and a high value Lexus car.
The Graingers then allowed the stolen property to be stashed at their home – and Mrs Grainger even sold some of the items, keeping others for her own use.
“Mr Grainger was at home when his stepson arrived and assisted in unloading the property,” said Mr Goode, who said the Grainger’s ‘safe house’ where the burglars stored the stolen goods was under surveillance from Cheshire police.
Mrs Grainger admitted travelling to Ellesmere Port to sell stolen jewellery, including an engagement ring.
Anna Duke-Wallace, defending, said Mrs Grainger was so frightened of her son that she turned a ‘blind eye’ to him storing the property in her house.
“She accepts she sold some of the items, her son has caused her problems in the past and has shown violence against her. It was her house that was used and she has herself been used by her son,” said Miss Duke-Wallace.
Judge Janet Case sentenced Mr Grainger to six months imprisonment and gave Mrs Grainger a 12 month suspended sentence.
And Jamie Lane, 33, was sentenced to three months for accepting a stolen TV from one of the burglars.
Matthew Wallace, was sentenced to 12-months in jail after assisting the burglars and handling stolen goods.