Stole scooter on way home

A REVELLER helped try to steal a scooter in the hope that he could catch a lift home after a night out.

Hartlepool man Gareth Martin Patterson and a pal were walking home after a night out when they came across a motorised Piaggio scooter in St Abb’s Walk, in the Burbank area of Hartlepool.

The pair tried to break off the steering lock with a screwdriver they had found and by twisting the handle bars, before attempting to hot wire the engine.

But Patterson, 20, and his friend were disturbed by neighbours and ran off towards nearby Whitby Walk, before being arrested 10 minutes later in Spurn Walk.

Prosecuting, Joanne Hesse told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court: “It was 3.20am when police were contacted by a woman saying she had disturbed two men stealing her son’s scooter from St Abb’s Walk.

“Police attended and arrested the defendant and another man. The scooter was forensically examined, along with a green-handled screw driver.”

She added: “In interview the defendant said he’d been out and had two bottles of Budweiser in one pub and further drinks in another before leaving at 3am.

“He said they saw the scooter underneath the flat window and his friend tried pulling the scooter from the garden.

“He could see he was struggling so he helped his friend drag it about 10ft. They tried to undo the steering lock and were pulling at the handle bars in order to break it.

“They found a screw driver and used it to try and pop the lock. His friend tried finding a wire to start the scooter, but they walked off when a few people from nearby houses came out.

“He said he would have got a lift home on the stolen scooter had they got the ignition started.”

Patterson, of Flint Walk, Throston, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to stealing a motor vehicle on July 8.

His friend was not charged with the offence, but was cautioned at the police station.

Neil Taylor, mitigating, said his client played a smaller role in the crime, but has been given the greater punishment.

“My client foolishly got himself involved probably because he had too much to drink and I can’t see any reason why he wasn’t similarly dealt with,” he said.

“His contribution was very much the lesser of the two”.

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Nigel Guerin sentenced Patterson to a 12-month conditional discharge, ordered him to pay £200 compensation and £40 costs.