TWO teenage burglars who were involved in the thefts of three cars from driveways in Chester have been sentenced.

Daniel Herring, 19, of Atlas Way, Ellesmere Port, was sentenced to two years and three months in a young offenders institute after admitting two charges of burglary and three counts of stealing cars.

His co-accused Daniel Lee Whitfield, 18, of Rake Way, Saughall, was handed a 20-month sentence, suspended for two years, after he admitted one burglary and two charges of stealing vehicles.

Prosecuting, Jo Maxwell told Chester Crown Court on Monday, February 17 that all the offences dates back to the end of May 2019.

Both defendants had committed their crimes with Jake Fagan, now 24, of Exeter Road, Ellesmere Port. Fagan had played a more prominent role in the burglaries and, before being sentenced to four years in prison in July 2019, had asked for several other offences to be taken into account.

Ms Maxwell explained the first burglary and car theft early on May 29 involved Herring and Fagan, but not Whitfield.

It was at about 2am when the victim reported their Volvo V60 had been stolen from their driveway in Stanton Drive, Upton, Chester. Their home had been broken into and keys to the car were burgled.

The car was later recovered in Birkenhead with its number plate having been changed to a false one.

Both Whitfield and Herring, along with Fagan, were involved in the other crime, which happened on May 31.

A couple were housesitting for their daughter on Lache Park Avenue when their car keys were burgled from their home.

A Land Rover Evoque – which had been purchased only five months prior for £48k – and a Suzuki Grand Vitara which contained up to £700 worth of fishing equipment were stolen from the driveways.

Both vehicles were later recovered.

Whitfield had no previous convictions, while Herring was in breach of a suspended sentence imposed in February 2019 for possession of a bladed article.

Brian Treadwell, defending Herring, said five reference letters in support of him had been submitted, including from family members who said Herring had recently made some big changes in his life and was a hard worker.

A pre-sentence report said Herring was "somewhat immature and naive in decision making."

He had anger issues when growing up but had moved closer to his family more recently.

He was also never inside the stolen vehicles and had not set out to gain financially from the crimes.

"To call this a 'gang' is to flatter them," Mr Treadwell said. "These were some kids doing stupid stuff and joyriding."

Myles Wilson, defending Whitfield, said his defendant was 17 at the time of the offences and a pre-sentence report said he was immature.

He had had a difficult time growing up and had been taking drugs.

Since his arrest, there had been positive developments; he was in a relationship with a girl who did not tolerate drug-taking, he had been taken under the wing of his older sister's boyfriend who runs a property maintenance business and was looking to gain a Government apprenticeship, which meant he would go to Cheshire College in Ellesmere Port in September.

He had also committed no further offences since the arrest.

Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Woodward told Herring: "With that suspended sentence [you had], you went on to commit two further burglaries. you can't expect not to go to custody today."

Herring was sent to a young offenders institute for two years and three months.

Whitfield was handed a 20-month sentence, suspended for two years. As part of the suspended, he must complete 20 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement and a six-month 7pm-7am curfew at his home address.