Prolific burglar & accomplice jailed after Newcastle 'night of terror'

02 May 2018 12:00 PM

LawsonWeatherson [View Full Size]

A prolific burglar who raided six addresses across Newcastle and inflicted a night of terror on one of his victims has been jailed.

Kevin John Lawson, 27, has been sentenced to 13 years after being arrested by officers following a string of offences across the North and West End areas of the city.

Over a ten-day period in September 2017, Lawson stole items worth more than a combined £40,000, including several cars.

The offender is now behind bars after Northumbria Police’s successful Operation Sentry.

On Monday (April 29) at Newcastle Crown Court, Lawson pleaded guilty to six counts of burglary and five counts of taking a motor vehicle without owner’s consent.

The burglaries mainly occurred during the early hours of the morning whilst the occupants were asleep in their beds. Lawson would usually break a window in order to gain access, before stealing the victims’ vehicles.

Detective Constable Bob Wilson, of Northumbria Police’s burglary team, said: “We have been tracking this known offender for a long time and we are glad to finally see him behind bars.

“Our dedicated Burglary Team have worked tirelessly to ensure he has his day in court, and we are pleased that a danger to society has now been taken off the streets.

“Our commitment to tackling this type of crime will continue. Bringing offenders before the courts remains a top priority for us and we will not stop targeting those we believe to be responsible for such crimes, which we know cause huge concern for our communities.

“We will continue to make sure offenders are caught and are punished for their actions.”

Identifying Lawson as the likely culprit, Operation Sentry was initiated by officers at Central Area Command’s dedicated Burglary Team and all available methods and resources were deployed in order to arrest Lawson and halt his criminal activities.

Officers landed their man in the early hours of Thursday, September 28, 2017 days after a terrifying ordeal that saw Lawson and an accomplice, Thomas Weatherson, 30, commit a kidnap robbery in the west of the city.

The pair attended an address at Royal Crescent and forced two victims to drive them to an address.

After seeing a patrolling police car in the Blaydon area, Lawson and Weatherson forced the driver to divert towards the jetty area of the River Tyne near Scotswood Bridge. The victims managed to escape the vehicle shortly after being threatened with a knife and flagged down members of the public to help.

Police were contacted and officers identified a Vauxhall Touran being driven by the kidnappers and followed. The Vauxhall - belonging to one of the victims - was crashed into seven parked vehicles in Newburn, causing extensive damage, before the offenders fled.

Weatherson was apprehended by officers hiding in undergrowth, while Lawson – who went on to commit another car burglary in Lemington – was caught following a 10-day manhunt.

“It was a terrifying ordeal which I’ll never be able to forget,” one of the kidnap victims, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

“It will stay with me forever. It was a night of carnage and destruction and something that not only affected me, but also my family. I knew we would never feel safe in our home and I knew we couldn’t live there any longer. We’ve since moved to different area “It’s a relief to see the offenders behind bars for a long time. They are a danger to society. Now they can’t hurt anybody else.”

On Monday (April 29) Weatherson was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to kidnap, robbery and threats to kill.

Lawson was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to six counts of burglary and five counts of TWOC committed between September 17 and September 28, 2017, as well as counts of robbery, threats to kill and kidnap.