A THIEF caught red-handed trying to steal a farmer’s £7,500 quad bike was forced to flee empty-handed after a chase, a court heard.
Nicholas Gorton, his brother Luke and a third individual had arrived at Brian Gibson’s farm near Kendal with a van to take the sports vehicle, Burnley Crown Court was told.
Mr Gibson saw the trio trying to push the quad bike into the back of a hired van, along with a £700 generator.
Prosecutor Jacob Dyer said the farmer attempted to block their escape, along a narrow country lane, with his tractor.
But the thieves managed to squeeze past the tractor and fled. Later witnesses saw them attempting to dump the quad bike and generator.
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Police traced the vehicle used by the thieves to Practical Van Hire and the Gortons were later arrested.
Mr Dyer said that there was a covert audio and video recording within the van which identified the brothers and further established that they had visited the Kendal farm previously on a scouting mission.
The court heard Nicholas Gorton was also held after a builder’s van was broken into at a housing development site in Wiswell Lane, Whalley, on January 21 this year.
Gorton stole tools worth £970 but he was traced through his DNA after leaving blood near a window which had been broken on the vehicle.
Gorton, of Harold Avenue, Burnley, admitted two offences of theft and was given a five-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 12 months probation supervision, 150 hours community service and a £250 compensation order.
William Donnelly, defending, said his client, a father-of-three, now wanted to live a law-abiding life so he could win back the trust of his partner.
*Luke Gorton, 29, of Greenock Close, Burnley, was jailed for three years in March for heroin dealing and the Kendal theft.