Mansfield magistrates were told how the family of a Kirkby drug addict helped return goods he had stolen to their rightful owners.
Jamie Richards (31) of Gladstone Street, Kirkby, admitted entering a farm outbuilding in a remote part of the area and stealing a lawnmower, an industrial strimmer and hedge-cutting equipment.
Neil Hollett, prosecuting, told the court how the farm owners were alerted to the theft by neighbours and viewed CCTV footage of a van being backed up to their property and loaded with the stolen goods.
“They went in search of the van and located it at Gladstone Street and contacted police,” said Mr Hollett.
“The owner spoke to the occupants at the address and it was parked outside of.
“The owner of the house called her partner who confirmed he had nothing to do with the burglary but had simply picked up the males.”
Mr Hollett said Richards had been frank with police officers and admitted stashing the goods before selling them to a ‘handler’ for £130, which he spent on drugs.
Mary Dixon, defending, said: “The van belonged to Mr Richards’ father, but he was in Skegness at the time. He was unaware that his vehicle was being used.
“The owners of the property detected this themselves by driving round Kirkby looking for it.
“Mr Richards was spoken to by his family and disclosed who he had sold the property to.
“His brother and father then spoke to the handler and repaid him then gave the items back to their owners.”
Ms Dixon said Richards was in the thrall of a longstanding drug problem and needed help.
She added: “If he were offered another chance this would be the way forward. It is down to him to prove he can comply with probation.”
A probation officer said Richards had been open and frank about the events.
She added: “His current drug use is a factor but he is keen to engage with probation - a drug rehabilitation requirement is the most appropriate sentence.
“I would ask you to adjourn for a report to be prepared.”
Richards was released on conditional bail until tomorrow for sentencing.
He must comply with a door step curfew from 7pm-7am and cooperate with drug testing requirements.
A magistrate added: “It is up to you to comply and try to turn your life around. This is your only chance of staying free.”