Police caught crook with bag of stolen frozen meat

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A crook out at 2-30am with a bag full of stolen frozen meat claimed he was looking for a lock for his front door, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how Liam Taggart (29) had been challenged by police and told them someone else took the food.

The hearing was told the meat, worth £60.39, had been stolen from a refrigerated container at the back of Tayyabah Bakery on Gannow Lane, in the town. Taggart was arrested and was found to have two screwdrivers on him.

Mr Andrew Robinson (prosecuting) said: “They weren’t capable of breaking into the containers.”

Jobless Taggart, of Florence Street, Burnley, was originally charged with burglary, but admitted going equipped for theft and handling stolen goods, on March 8th.

He was given a 7pm to 7am curfew, seven days a week and was told to pay a £60 victim surcharge and £60.39 compensation. He had not been in trouble since 2013.

Ben Leech, in mitigation, said Taggart had been looking for a lock from an abandoned door.

He continued: “He had a problem with his own front door lock which had been damaged. His landlord had not fixed it and he had no money to fix it. If he had found a lock, he accepts he would have taken it.”

Mr Leech said it looked to Taggart as if somebody had previously broken into the refrigerated storage unit.

He added: “It’s thought the people who had broken in were not necessarily expecting to find frozen meat and the items had been abandoned very nearby.”