THREE men have admitted carrying out a burglary, with intent to steal, at the Backbarrow Ironworks site.

Preston Crown Court heard that Daryl Langhorn, Ian Tweedley and Neil Whitney were said to have been disturbed during their crime and detained at the scene.

All three pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary with intent to steal when they appeared at court.

Langhorn, 28, of Cleator Street, Dalton; Tweedley, 31, of Broughton Road, Dalton and Whitney, 26, of Egerton Court, Barrow carried out their offence on October 4 last year.

Rachel Woods, prosecuting, said the Ironworks were unoccupied, but being maintained. For the past five years the site has been in the process of being developed.

The court was told that during the morning a maintenance worker noticed a yellow van stop and two males jump out. They climbed over a stone wall, next to some gates.

The police were informed and the vehicle was moved in the mean time.

As police went on to approach the site, Langhorn was seen running away from the direction of residential properties and towards a wooded area. An officer followed him into dense trees and threatened to use a taser if he did not stop.

At a wire fence, the officer caught up with him and that defendant sat on the floor when told. The two others were found hiding in a bush.

The court heard Langhorn’s fingerprints were found on an instruction manual inside one of the residential buildings. More prints were found on sheeting in one of the derelict premises near the wooded area.

Tweedley's fingerprints were said to have been found on some plastic sheeting in a pump house.

Miss Woods added "The Crown's case is that they had gone there to take or strip items of potential value at the premises, such as copper, piping and the like".

Langhorn accepted having entered the site with the intention to steal, but had not known what was there.

Whitney accepted that he had gone there to look for scrap metal.

Michael Murray, for Tweedley, said he too had gone looking for something to steal, in particular, steel.

The case was adjourned for pre sentence reports to be compiled on the defendants by the probation service. All three were remanded on conditional bail to December 17th.

Judge Stuart Baker told them "Each of you is at risk of a prison sentence being imposed".