A witness who saw three men stealing coping stones from a wall at Gisburne Park Hospital was able to give police the registration number of the van the thieves were using.
Blackburn magistrates was told that Shaun Morrisey accepted stealing stones worth £450, but the court heard the hospital had actually been subjected to theft on a massive scale, costing nearly £10,000.
“Gisburne Park Hospital has been a repeat victim of what is a prevalent offence in the Ribble Valley,” said Miss Catherine Allan (prosecuting).
“This kind of offence causes many problems,“
Morrisey (25), of Hazelwood Road, Nelson, pleaded guilty to theft. He was fined £190 with £105 costs and ordered to pay £450 compensation.
Miss Allan said a large quantity of stone had been stolen from the hospital grounds, although it could not all be blamed on Morrissey.
Damian Pickup (defending) said despite being employed as a welder Morrisey had got himself into significant debt.
“Also, at the time, he was associating with a couple of unsavoury characters and they came up with the plan to raise some money,” said Mr Pickup.
When first interviewed by police Morrissey had admitted nothing, but later he had requested another interview and gave police full details of what had happened.