Drill thieves targeted B&Q

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A trio of drill thieves who repeatedly targeted a branch of B&Q had about 500 previous offences between them, a court heard.

Long-time drug addict Dean Michael Irving (43) went into the Brierfield store on three days running, stealing five Bosch drills and other tools worth a total of £511 on the first two visits and then trying to take another drill, to the value of £115, on the third occasion.

Burnley magistrates were told he was joined on two trips by fellow prolific crook Wayne Gregson (42) formerly of Fraser Street, Burnley.

A third man, Francis Duffy (39) who used to live in Slater Avenue, Colne and has more than 200 previous convictions, was recently jailed for eight weeks for his part in the thieving.

Irving, of Colne Road, Burnley, has 152 offences on his record, 69 of them for stealing. He admitted theft of three cordless drills and three pliers, worth £301.71, on May 8th theft of two drills worth £210 on May 9th and attempted theft of the £115 drill the day after.

He received a nine-month drugs programme, was banned from B&Q stores in Lancashire and Greater Manchester for nine months and was ordered to pay £220.85 compensation.

Gregson, who now lives in Bolton, pleaded guilty to the £210 theft and the attempted theft.

The defendant, who has 120 previous offences, 53 of them for theft, against his name, was fined £120 and must pay £70 compensation.

Mr Mark Williams, defending Irving, told the court he had had money worries at the time, as his benefits had stopped, but he had managed to get those back in place now.

The solicitor continued: “He does tend to rely on food kitchens. He apologised immediately and said it won’t happen again.”

For Gregson, Mr David Leach said his relationship had broken down and he had been mixing with Francis Duffy.

The solicitor added: “He is now reconciled with his partner.”