‘Borrowed’ laptop was not returned to student

A YOUNG woman who borrowed a laptop but then refused to return it to its student owner has been given a suspended term of detention at a Young Offenders Institution.

Alana Yates, 20, who at the time of the offence was living in Newmarket Road, Bury St Edmunds, had denied stealing the laptop but on Thursday she was found guilty by a majority verdict at Ipswich Crown Court.

She had borrowed a Toshiba laptop worth £349 from a 17-year-old student friend in April after telling him she wanted to use it to watch DVDs.

When the student asked for Yates to return the laptop she claimed that she had left it at the home of a friend in the town but said she would collect it later.

Prosecuting, John Kellett told the jury that Yates had gone on to deny ever having been in possession of the laptop, which led the student to contact the police.

Denying that she had stolen the computer, the court was told that Yates claimed to have purchased it for £10 and had then sold it. She said she had never borrowed it or refused to return it.

After the jury returned a guilty verdict, Mr Recorder Martyn Levett sentenced Yates to nine months detention in a Young Offenders Institution suspended for 24 months.

In addition Yates, who has now moved to London and who pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft, was told she will have to remain under Probation Service supervision for two years.