A 45-year-old man has been sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for 12 months, over the theft of diesel from a digger over four years ago.
Bernard Ward (45) of Dunnerdale Road in Liverpool pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing a set of tools and a fuel pump for use in the course of or in connection with a burglary or theft on August 7th 2012 at Sligo Road in Enniskillen.
Enniskillen Magistrates Court was told on Monday that at 11pm on the date in question, police were alerted to suspicious activity around plant machinery at a property close to the South West Acute Hospital.
Officers attended the scene and found that diesel had been taken from a digger on the premises. The court heard that £900 worth of damage was caused to the digger.
The defendant was located a short time later on the Sligo Road in Enniskillen as a passenger in a car containing three males.
Officers stopped and searched the car where they found a hand-pump in the bonnet. Police also noted that Ward’s hands were dirty and he was subsequently arrested and all three were conveyed to Enniskillen Police Station where they each gave different accounts of what happened to police.
District Judge Nigel Broderick heard that Ward, an unemployed father of eight with no previous convictions, had been returning to Enniskillen from Letterkenny when he discovered that he was low on diesel.
The court heard that the defendant took the opportunity to take a gallon of diesel as the cap was already open. The delay in dealing with the case was due to the fact that the defendant had lived in England for a few years.
In sentencing Ward, the judge said:
“These vehicles were in an isolated area and you took advantage of this by interfering with them.”
A youth also appeared in court on Monday where he pleaded not guilty to going equipped for theft in relation to the matter. He also entered a not guilty plea in relation to a separate charge of stealing a Blackberry mobile phone to the total value of £200 or thereabouts belonging to Laura Bogue on December 26th 2012. The judge ordered that the young man appear in court again on January 23rd to fix a date for contest in relation to the charges.
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