Bizarre"" burglary

PUBLISHED: 15:41 30 October 2006 | UPDATED: 12:05 04 May 2010

A POLICE helicopter was scrambled when two men were caught trying to burgle European Metal Recycling at Fordham Road in Snailwell. And six sacks full of European coins were found by officers who disturbed the two burglars who had travelled up from Essex t

A POLICE helicopter was scrambled when two men were caught trying to burgle European Metal Recycling at Fordham Road in Snailwell.

And six sacks full of European coins were found by officers who disturbed the two burglars who had travelled up from Essex to commit the crime.

"This offence was all rather bizarre," prosecutor William Powell told Ely magistrates on Thursday. One of the defendants, 62-year old Brian Saville from Loughton, had no previous criminal record. "It is a bit late for him to start with burglary," he said.

The younger defendant, 36-year-old Ashley Garrett from South Ockingdon, had previous convictions, but they did not suggest he was a professional burglar. Both had admitted burgling the EMR premises on August 25.

"They were not terribly competent," added Mr Powell. "Security cameras on the site alerted security staff, and the police were called. They were helping themselves to some cash, but were completely unsuccessful."

Solicitor Jacqui Baldwin said Saville had been diagnosed with cancer, so when he was asked to join in the burglary, he thought: "I am going to die, so what the heck?"

Garrett told the court: "It was a mistake, it was done for financial gain, to clear debts."

Garrett was told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and Saville was given a one-year conditional discharge. Both must pay £100 costs.

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