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Teenager stole £20,000 worth of mobile phones from Apple store in Leeds

Reece Godward
Reece Godward
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A gang stole more than £20,000 worth of iPhones in a series of raids at a store in Leeds city centre.

Reece Godward, 19, was part of a group which targeted the Apple store in the Trinity Centre on seven occasions in March and April this year.

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Leeds Crown Court heard how the gang would run into the store and grab phones from a display. In the first offence, on March 1 this year, they managed to steal £4,000 worth of phones.

During another offence they stole phones worth £5,500.

Godward was also involved in the theft of Samsung Galaxy phones from a pop-up store in the Trinity Centre, on March 28.

Michael Smith, prosecuting, said the gang also targeted victims in the street in order to steal phones from them.

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They followed a woman along Park Row before one of them snatched her mobile phone from her hand. Another woman, aged in her 60s, had her phone snatched as she walked near to Leeds Cathedral.

Godward also attacked a shopkeeper as he tried to stop a group of men stealing coffee from his store.

Mr Smith said Godward punches the victim twice in a “gratuitous” assault.

Godward defacated in his cell after he was arrested for the offences and held in police custody.

The teenager, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to ten offences of theft, attempted theft, common assault and criminal damage. Godward has a long criminal record which includes offences of burglary and theft.

Ashok Khullah, mitigating, said Godward committed the offences to fund his addiction to the drug Spice.

He said Godward pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage.

He was sent to a young offenders institution for two years, eight months.

Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “You have acquired yourself a very bad criminal record.

“These were not particularly sophisticated offences but they were with a group and they were clearly planned and premeditated.”