Bricks thief caught in the act

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A thief who targeted a construction compound in Hindley was found flat on his back after a police officer gave chase, a court heard.

Neighbours alerted the police after seeing three men loading bricks into a Toyota Corolla in the Argyle Street area, Wigan magistrates were told.

James Roy Irvine, 32, was seen scaling an external fence just as officers arrived on the scene.

Prosecutor Katie Beattie said an officer ran after him into a nearby estate and found Irvine, who was said to have been drinking beforehand, flat on his back.

He told police: “I won’t give you any trouble.”

Irvine, of Ennerdale Road, Hindley, pleaded guilty to theft of bricks valued at £100. He was given 100 hours community service.

Miss Beattie said that the building site’s manager, John Unsworth, had complained that this was the third time the site had been broken into.

He said he could not afford to deploy security for the site and had been forced to cover any losses himself.

Colin Rawson, defending, said there was no evidence that Irvine had been involved in any of the previous incidents.

He told the court the defendant had not been in trouble since 2013 and the bricks which were taken had all been recovered.

Unemployed Irvine, who lives with his mother not far from the building compound, was said to have co-operated with police and entered a prompt guilty plea. The other two men were not caught.