Jail for ‘sniggering’ pair who stole heavy machinery

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Two crooks sniggered at each other as they were jailed for stealing machinery worth tens of thousands of pounds from a Garstang man.

Michael Brade, 41, of Charnley Road, Blackpool, and Jarrad Lee Jacklin, 21, of Mount Avenue Lancaster, sniggered at each other in the dock and were told off by Judge Christopher Cornwall as they chatted among themselves.

They had admitted stealing a Komatsu digger and Ifor Williams trailer, worth £26,500, belonging to Garstang man Peter Cowley in March.

Jacklin also admitted driving offences and another similar theft in Garstang on August 7 last year. He was jailed for 31 months while Brade was ordered to serve a six-month term.

Judge Christopher Cornwall said: “You had unwisely decided other people’s expensive plant equipment is yours to take.”

“It has to be made plain that plant equipment is not to be stolen at random.

Karen Brooks, prosecuting, said Mr Cowley, a ground worker and owner of the machinery, had left the digger in his yard on Cockerham Road, Garstang, locked and secure.

She said: “At 5.40am he arrived at his yard and the digger, worth £24,000, and trailer, worth £2,500, were both missing.

“The digger had a tracking device. He logged in and told police of the location and set off in his car to try and locate the machinery.

“At 6.20am an officer saw a Mitsubishi Shogun coming towards him in the Staining area. It was pulling an Ifor William trailer with the digger on.”

The court heard the vehicle was pulled over on Mythop Road with Jacklin driving and Brade his passenger. One of the men was in possession of a blank Ifor Williams plate and false registration plates, which were cloned.

Jacklin had stolen a mini digger worth £40,000 a few months earlier from a building site in Catterall, Garstang, which had belonged to Kellett Plant Hire. Jacklin, who has 12 convictions for 19 offences, admitted the two thefts and driving while disqualified and with no insurance. Brade who has 25 convictions, admitted a single theft.