The Leeds man has to pay £7,000 in compensation to Chester-le-Street-based Batley’s

Daniel Dodgson was part of a gang that attacked Batley’s cash and carry shop near Chester-le-Street late on March 1 last year.

He claimed he knew what the destination would be as he was driven in a car from the Leeds area to County Durham that night.

Durham Crown Court was told that it was not until he arrived at the Drum Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Chester-le-Street that Dodgson and others in the car met a van with accomplices and were told he was to help gain entry to the warehouse.

READ ALSO: Leeds man admits burglary at County Durham cash and carry warehouse

Two men are said to have drilled a hole in the outer wall with tools before tobacco products were stolen from the premises.

The court heard a CCTV investigation which revealed the intruders used a ladder to climb to the outside of the building.

They had apparently removed other CCTV cameras, while footage from internal equipment caught sparks from an outside wall and unidentified men entered before making their way to a storage area where high-value products were being kept.

An inventory revealed that 768 ‘units’ of tobacco products were seized, as well as another cart of cigarettes with a total value of more than £60,000.

It was a drop of blood found during an investigation by detectives at the scene where the metal sheet had been cut, which matched Dodgson’s DNA profile.

He was arrested on July 3 last year following a vehicle stop in the Nottingham area.

The 34-year-old defendant, from Kensington Way, Leeds, admitted to the burglary.

He spent two months in custody at Durham Prison, which is said to have been his first taste of imprisonment before his conviction last October.

His attorney, Sean Smith, said at the sentencing hearing: “He says he holds his hands up about this offense and claims he acted at a relatively low level because he was approached by so-called friends who knew he was… there was time on the floor.”

Mr Smith said that after serving time in prison for the first time in his life, the defendant wanted to work with young offenders to ensure they did not make the same mistakes he did.

He added that Dodgson worked as a kitchen supervisor while on remand but was offered a full-time job after his release from prison.

After telling Dodgson that he appeared to have been “very affected by the initial custody allegations,” clerk Tom Moran found he had no history of burglary on his file and therefore agreed to commute the 12-month sentence for 18 months.

Read more: A Leeds man helped a gang loot tobacco goods at a Chester-le-Street cash-and-carry store

However, this included the need to complete 14 probation-supervised rehabilitation activities and adhere to a 12-month alcohol treatment program.

Dodgson has now reappeared in court for a claims hearing via video feed from his solicitor’s office in Leeds.

It was agreed that the ‘benefit’ from the offense was £63,240 but the amount available to be recovered from the accused’s estate was only £7,404.

Mr Smith said it related to the selling price of a van used by the defendant for business.

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Clerk Shafqat Khan, who was sitting at the Durham crimes hearing, told Mr Smith that he would order the defendant to pay £7,404 in compensation to Batley’s.

He told Dodgson that the amount could come from the sale of the van or other means to cover the amount, but the amount had to be paid in full within three months.

If he fails to make the payment by the deadline, Dodgson faces a “default” prison sentence of up to six months. The Leeds man has to pay £7,000 in compensation to Chester-le-Street-based Batley’s

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