Car thief joined in burglary ‘in search for fun’

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

A man recruited to a burglary joined in because he was looking for fun, a court heard.

Rian MacDonald later got into an Audi vehicle, taken from the scene of the burglary, which was written off when it crashed into a hedgerow.

When quizzed by police, MacDonald said he had acted as a lookout while two other men went into the home at The Mede in Freckleton.

MacDonald was given a suspended prison sentence by a judge at Preston Crown Court who told him: “All because you were looking for a bit of excitement in your life.

“It isn’t fun. It is a matter of great seriousness.”

The 22-year-old, of Hunter Road, Freckleton, had pleaded guilty to offences of burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.

Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, said an Audi A3 was spotted by police at about 5am on March 31 this year.

The police, who were on patrol in the Newton area and close to the A583, noticed the car did not have its lights on and so they followed.

The car ended up crashing into a hedgerow.

MacDonald, who had no previous convictions, was arrested while the two other men made off.

The defendant had left his phone in the passenger footwell of the vehicle.

Police inquiries showed the car had been stolen from outside the address on The Mede.

The keys had been inside the home and it seemed the house door may have been left open.

Four adults were asleep in the house at the time.

MacDonald told police he had gone to the area with the two others, knowing they had planned to steal a car.

The court also heard two others were arrested, but not charged.

Robin Kitching, defending, said his client had been recruited to the burglary minutes before it took place.

He said: “He played a subordinate role in a group or gang.

“He has no previous convictions.

“He has demonstrated remorse. The defendant is at a bit of a loss to know why he allowed himself to be dragged into this by others who were criminally sophisticated”.

MacDonald was given 14 months’ prison, suspended for two years, with 12 months’ supervision and 180 hours unpaid work.

He was told to pay £700 compensation, plus £535 prosecution costs.

A three-year driving ban was imposed.

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