Torches tipped police off to greenhouse raid

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court
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Village residents became suspicious when they saw torch lights shining round nursery greenhouses at Freckleton.

Police were alerted and arrived at the Wolverdene Nurseries, Kirkham Road, to find a hole had been cut in the metal security fence and there were fresh footprints in the mud inside the compound.

Officers found one man hiding in the compound and his companion in crime trying to conceal himself in brambles outside.

John Riley, 56, of Burnley Road, and Colin Wright, 25, of Hereford Road, both of Blackburn, pleaded guilty to being found on enclosed premises with intent to steal. Riley also admitted driving while disqualified without insurance.

Riley was sentenced to a 16-week curfew from 8pm to 6am, banned from driving for six months and fined £70. Wright was sentenced to a 10 weeks curfew from 8pm to 6am.

Both defendants were ordered to pay £85 costs plus £60 victims’ surcharge by District Judge Jeff Brailsford sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

Martine Connah, prosecuting, said residents near the unoccupied nurseries saw torch lights in the compound and contacted police on November 2 at 9pm.

Riley said he thought there would be items at the unoccupied site he could recycle and sell. He added he did not realise he had to take an extended driving test.

Wright said he and his partner had a newborn baby.

He went along to the nurseries because he was on benefits and struggling financially.