A crook with a long record for car-related crime was given a suspended jail term after striking again.
Burnley magistrates were told how father-of-three Alan Pickard was stopped by police near the town’s hospital in the early hours, after he was alleged to have been trying the handles of properties and vehicles.
Miss Charlotte Crane, prosecuting, said: “He made a significant statement. He said “I will admit to the interference but I didn’t do the house. Get your forensics. They won’t find any prints and I have not get any gloves on.”
Miss Crane added the defendant had a lot of previous convictions for interfering with or theft from vehicles.
The 47-year-old defendant, of no fixed address, but care of Marles Court, Burnley, admitted vehicle interference on January 29th.
A probation officer who interviewed Pickard told the hearing he only tried the car handle and admitted he would have stolen from the vehicle had it been open.
The officer continued: “He tells me he was stealing for food. He has not claimed any benefits for over a year. He was sanctioned over a year ago. He has been managing with handouts from friends and previously from the proceeds of crime. At the moment he is sofa surfing.”
The hearing was told the defendant used methadone and bought 20mls off the street a day, for £1. Deputy District Judge Nalla Lawrence gave Pickard four weeks in jail, suspended for a year.
He must pay a £115 victim surcharge. The judge warned the defendant :” If you do this sort of thing in the next 12 months, I will lock you up.”