A THIEF caused up to £16,000 in damage during a metal raid on a factory.
Andrew Roe, 40, twice used branch cutters to break through a perimeter fence to steal a wire transformer and an industrial motor from a factory on the Oakesway Industrial Estate in Hartlepool.
He was caught on CCTV leaving the site with the motor and hiding it in a field, prosecutor Rupert Doswell told Teesside crown Court.
Roe was arrested two days later at his Hartlepool home and admitted going onto the site twice, saying that the motor was too heavy to carry away on his bike, so he hid it until he could arrange to remove it.
The property he stole was worth £1,800, but the damage he caused stealing it cost the firm £15,000 to £16,000.
Jim Withyman, mitigating, told the court that Roe was drinking heavily at the time of the offences in August last year.
The court heard he was going to feed some horses when he went over into the fenced area and saw the motors, which were left outside the factory.
Mr Withyman said Roe does not appear regularly before the courts, he made full admissions when interviewed by the police, and had shown remorse.
He said that Roe had virtually stopped drinking completely and he had shown an improvement in his health.
The judge warned Roe that the company could take action against him to recover their losses.
The Judge, Recorder Sandra Knapton, told him: “You caused a substantial amount of damage and whether the company take action against you is not a matter for this court.
“You are not a man who regularly appears before the courts for offences of dishonesty and I make allowance for that in passing sentence.”
Roe, of Garside Drive, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to the two thefts between August 10 and 14 last year.
He was given a 12-month community order with supervision, a 12-week electronically-tagged curfew between 7pm and 7am, and ordered to pay £100 costs.