Burglar’s female accomplice spared jail at Manchester Crown Court
The girlfriend of a Manchester burglar, who acted as her partner’s getaway driver, has escaped prison after being given a suspended sentence at Manchester Crown Court.
Laura Smyth, aged 25, accompanied her then boyfriend, Lewis Leigh, on multiple burglaries throughout affluent areas of Manchester and surrounding areas, including Cheadle and Handforth, situated in Cheshire. The court heard how Smyth waited in the getaway vehicles, while Leigh broke in to the properties and stole valuable goods and the keys to expensive cars.
On July 25, 2014, the pair targeted a home in Woodlands Road, Handforth, while the owners were sleeping upstairs, and made off with electrical goods, a handbag and the family’s BMW. On another occasion, Smyth accompanied Leigh on a burglary at Pure Gym, in Handforth, where they stole over £2,000 worth of handbags.
At Manchester Crown Court, both defendants laid the blame at each other’s door; Leigh blamed his cocaine addiction on Smyth, while the court heard how Leigh used ‘violence and control’ to intimidate Smyth.
Judge Richard Mansell QC told the court: “I’ve no doubt the idea came from Leigh…I’ve no doubt he was a bad choice of partner, but you had a restraining order and took a choice to go back with him, and to commit these offences.” Judge Mansell sentenced Leigh to three years and eight months imprisonment and gave Smyth a suspended two year sentence.