Chester-le-Street couple told to expect prison sentences

A COUPLE were told to expect to receive prison sentences after admitting holding a woman captive and assaulting her at their home.

Neil Andrew Wright and Leanne Pope were due to go on trial at Durham Crown Court next week having previously denied charges arising from the incident in late February and early March.

Following discussions, however, involving counsel in the case and conferences between the respective defence barristers and their clients, acceptable guilty pleas were tendered at a pre-trial hearing, yesterday.

The pair, of The Crescent, Chester-le-Street, were facing charges of false imprisonment, assault causing actual bodily harm and robbery.

It is alleged that they, “unlawfully and injuriously imprisoned and detained” the named woman against her will, between February 28 and March 2.

They were also accused of robbing her of her mobile phone and assaulting her, between the same dates.

Following the discussions, the case came back into court and the pair admitted false imprisonment and assault but denied robbery.

Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, told the court: “Those pleas are acceptable to the Crown. We’ll leave the robbery count to lie on the file.”

Tony Davis, for 39-year-old Pope, who was produced in court from Low Newton Women’s Prison, said: “It’s likely to be a prison sentence, in her case, her first one, and the court may be assisted by the preparation of a pre-sentence report by the Probation Service.”

Judge James Adkin agreed and also asked for a report on 45-year-old Wright, to see how he has progressed while on remand, in custody, for the last eight months.

The judge adjourned sentence on both until November 20, telling them: “You should expect to receive custodial sentences for these offences.”

The Northern Echo | Durham