Burglars jailed for allotment thefts

Courts
Courts

Two burglars who staged a series of raids on allotment sheds stealing thousands of pounds worth of tools and equipment were today (Friday) both jailed at Lincoln Crown Court.

The pair drove a vehicle across a field and through a fence to get onto the allotment site at Boston Road, Heckington.

Mark Watson, prosecuting, said the raiders then forced the locks off sheds and stole lawnmowers, strimmers, a chainsaw and a generator which were loaded onto a trailer owned by one of the allotment holders and then driven off site. Items worth more than £3,000 were taken.

The burglars left behind a crowbar and two wrenches which were used to force open the locks.

They were caught their getaway vehicle was damaged when they drove it through the fence. Police found debris from the vehicle which meant they were able to identify the make of vehicle used. Officer then traced the car involved in the raids from evidence found on ANPR cameras.

Barry Maltby,35, of Dennis Estate, Kirton, near Boston, and Michael Benson,43, of Hagnaby Road, Old Bolingbroke, each admitted theft of a trailer on the night of 13-14 May 2016. They also admitted 11 charges of burglary.

Maltby, who also admitted breach of an earlier suspended sentence, was jailed for 22 months. Benson was jailed for 20 months.

David Eager, for Maltby, said his client had admitted the offences at an early stage and accepted that he faced an immediate jail sentence.

Neil Sands, for Benson, said that at the time of the raids Benson had a number of difficulties in his life and had lost his home.

“He accepts that he is utterly and entirely the author of his own misfortune.”