Burnley SatNav thief "struck in the face" by neighbour

Alan Pickard suffered a smashed cheek and black eye.
Alan Pickard suffered a smashed cheek and black eye.

A crook with an "appalling record" who pinched a headteacher's satnav from her car was given a smack in the face by a neighbour who caught him, a court heard.

Alan Pickard (46) who suffered a smashed cheek and black eye, had been spotted by the witness who was awoken by the sound of Pickard trying vehicle door handles in Colne on a Sunday morning.

The witness rang the police and then detained the defendant until officers arrived, Burnley magistrates were told.

Pickard, who has a long list of previous convictions for dishonesty, going back to the 1980s, admitted theft of the £100 SatNav belonging to Nina Reed and vehicle interference, both on April 16th.

The SatNav was recovered, while the defendant, of Marles Court in Burnley, was fined £100 and told to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Mr Mark Williams, in mitigation, told the hearing: "He was fairly forcibly detained. He was struck to the face. He makes no complaint about that. He still has the remnants of a black eye and a fractured cheek where he was struck."

The solicitor said the defendant had been out of trouble for well over 12 months, going on to commit the offences after his wife had thrown him out, he had had nowhere to stay and had no money.

Mr Williams continued: "He perhaps reverted back to his old behaviour, which is trying car doors. He has an appalling record."