Great Britain

Drug buyer took seller's watch as 'guarantee' in deal

A THIEF who took an expensive watch from a man he bought drugs from, later bragged online about his “score”, a court heard.

Connor Quinn was seen in an “interaction” with a man wearing the TAG Heuer timepiece in Front Street, Perkinsville, at 2.30am on November 15.

Durham Crown Court was told about three hours later Quinn was seen in a confrontation with the same man, calling him, “a rat”.

Joe Cully, prosecuting, said Quinn punched him to the side of the face, knocking him to the ground.

He then straddled him and delivered a further two blows to the side of his face.

A near neighbour, woken by the disturbance, shouted from a window: “Pack it in. What are you doing?”

Mr Cully said Quinn got up and was seen to pick something up as he did so.

The injured man got to his feet and was taken to hospital suffering swellings to his forehead plus cuts , scratches and grazes to his hands, knee and chin.

He was given a precautionary scan due to the head injuries, but it came out all clear.

The defendant was identified by the injured man and, upon arrest, his mobile phone was recovered, on which he boasted about stealing a “three grand watch”, with an accompanying photo, adding: “That’s a score.”

Mr Cully said the victim identified the watch on the photograph as his, telling police he bought it 18 months earlier for £1,800.

Quinn denied robbing the complainant but accepted having been present at the location at that time and buying cocaine from him.

He claimed the watch was, “a guarantee”, in the deal, and he took it amid a row about the quality of the cocaine, selling it later for £180.

Quinn, 26, of Park Court, Gateshead, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and theft.

He appeared for the hearing via video link from HMP Northumberland, where he is serving a 21-month prison sentence, imposed in April, for a burglary, committed since the incident for which he was before the court.

Judge James Adkin told defence counsel Jamie Adams that whatever took place in the build up to the incident, it was, “of no great significance”.

But he said that had the defendant not been interrupted by the member of the public the “sustained attack”, may have proved more harmful.

He imposed a four-month sentence, consecutive to the 21 months already being served by Quinn.

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