Saturday, April 05, 2014

Bailed would-be pilot risks career freefall

A would-be pilot who was facing a burglary charge has been warned a high-flying future could be grounded – after he landed himself in the dock for a second breach of bail.

Bradley McKenna was granted bail ahead of his trial next month with the condition he does not enter the scene of the alleged crime – Ellison Hall in Hebburn.

But the 20-year-old was found sleeping in a bed in the building on Thursday morning by his mother, who lives there.

Magistrates in South Tyneside heard yesterday that this was the second breach of his conditions in the space of a week for the same offence.

Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said: “At 10.20am he was found asleep in bed wearing his pyjama bottoms by his mum.

“She told him to leave and then reported the matter to police.”

McKenna’s mother lives in one half of the building, while the other half is used as hotel apartments.

It is in the apartment complex that the burglary is alleged to have taken place.

McKenna, of Parklands Way, Wardley, Gateshead, has entered a not guilty plea to a charge of burglary at Ellison Hall and will stand trial at Newcastle Crown Court on May 12.

Jeff Taylor, defending, said: “About £80,000 has been spent on a aviation pilot course for Bradley. It could be a very fruitful career for him.

“I am not allowed to slap clients on the head but, if I could figuratively, I would do. What he did was stupid. He could scupper things for himself.

“If he breaches his bail again, this kind of mitigation might not fly in the future.

“I have also told him Durham Prison is not a very pleasant place to be.”

Pauline Barratt, chairwoman of the magistrates, said: “You have been really fortunate. We are going to rebail you to the same conditions.

“I can’t stress this enough. This is the last time you will be rebailed if you breach your conditions.

“We are being very lenient.

“The next time you fancy going to bed, go to the house you are bailed to.”