Attempted stone theft the latest in long list of offenses for Nelson man

The defendant has a record of 20 offences.
The defendant has a record of 20 offences.
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A crook who tried to steal stone flags from a Barnoldswick firm was confronted by a man who knew him, who told him to put them back, which he did, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how carer Richard Blades was spotted loading the flags into a vehicle at HT Distribution Services.

Blades, who was caught on CCTV, told police he had been to see a friend in Barnoldswick, was driving past the "stone yard," realised he could make money from selling them, turned his vehicle around, and proceeded to load the flags.

Blades has a record of 20 offences, but has not been before the court since 2015 and was said to have tried to put crime behind him.

The defendant, of Canal Mews in Nelson, admitted attempted theft of the stone belonging to Maxamilian Smith on October 8th. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and must pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Mr Daniel Frazer, defending, told the hearing Blades had tried to put his previous lifestyle behind him and that he had started a relationship, with him and his partner having a house together with him as her carer.

Mr Frazer said both were reliant on benefits, which had been stopped, and money was tight. The solicitor continued: "He was driving past, saw some stone flags and the opportunity presented itself. He had fallen on hard times."