A Doddington man has admitted trying to steal a water bowser in an incident that triggered a 25 mile police chase.
Jake Hodgkins, 22, of Newgate Street, was given a 12 month community order, including 200 hours’ unpaid work, after pleading guilty to attempted theft during a hearing in King’s Lynn today.
Passing sentence, district judge Nick Watson said he had considered sending Hodgkins to prison.
He said: “This is a serious offence. It’s far too common that people take high value property. It’s not easy to protect that property.”
The court heard Hodgkins had been trying to take a bowser, worth around £3,500, from a site in Hunstanton on the evening of April 4.
Alison Cotterill, prosecuting, said a worker who had locked the site around half an hour before the incident, saw a van there when he drove back past and a man inside trying to remove the bowser.
A second man got out to try to help and the pair dropped the bowser and fled when the worker shouted at them.
Police were given the registration number of the van, which they pursued for more than 25 miles until it was finally stopped in Sutton Bridge.
Miss Cotterill said Hodgkins fled on foot before giving himself up a short time later.
He told officers: “You’re looking for me but I’m only the passenger.”
Later, when interviewed, he said he had gone to Hunstanton after finishing work in Chatteris to “help out”, but did not say for what purpose.
George Sorrell, mitigating, said Hodgkins had “perhaps done the wrong thing by himself” during the interview.
He said he admitted trying to pick up the container and leaving it behind when challenged.
He added: “He tells me that through that unhappy jounrey he was petrified and shcoked by the manner of the driving.”
Hodgkins was also ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
n A second defendant, Luke Hodgkins, 25, of Stanpoint Way, St Ives, appeared in court in King’s Lynn today charged with attempted theft, dangerous driving and driving without insurance in connection with the same incident.
He made no indication of plea and was committed to appear at Norwich Crown Court on June 29.