Lying thieves’ ill-fated plan ends in court

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TWO men who agreed to lie about who had committed a burglary both ended up in jail.

Anthony Bradshaw and Neil Masters met while they were on remand in Forest Bank prison near Wigan accused of separate burglaries.

They hatched a plan that 27-year-old Masters would confess to the house burglary that Bradshaw had actually committed, but when he told police they smelt a rat as it was obvious he did not know many details about the break- in.

The duo appeared at Liverpool Crown Court each admitting the burglaries they had actually committed and they also admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Bradshaw, 41, of Douglas House, Scholes, - who also admitted theft - was jailed for a total of three years nine months and Masters, 37, of no fixed address, received three years six months.

Neville Biddle, prosecuting, said that Masters broke into a house in Elgin Close, Higher Ince, on August 14 last year while the householder was on holiday and stole property including three television sets, an iPod and jewellery.

When she returned home, having been alerted while she was away, she also found that the stolen items also included her children’s birth certificates and health records.

In the early hours of the next day Bradshaw broke into a house in Goldenways, Swinley, while the occupants were asleep.

When the couple later awoke they found that intruders had stolen credit cards from his wallet and rifled through his wife’s purse.

Bradshaw was later captured on CCTV using the credit cards to obtain £300 cash, said Mr Biddle.

Both men were arrested on August 17 and ended up at Forest Bank.

The next month Masters falsely told police officers involved in Operation Cleanslate, which asks offenders if they have committed other outstanding offences, that he was responsible for the Elgin Close break-in.

They were suspicious about his lack of knowledge about the offence and found a crib sheet that Bradshaw had given him.

The court heard they both have previous convictions and Masters was on licence from jail at the time of the burglaries.

Defence barrister Eric Lamb said that Bradshaw had come up with the “ill starred” plan to get Masters to admit his offence.

He is now using his time in jail usefully to improve his life when released.

William Swalwell, defending, said that Masters has had problems with alcohol and heroin but has been trying to deal with his difficulties.

“He hopes that when released he will be able to make something of his life and be a useful member of society.”