COURT: Pair in dock over £1,000 crockery theft

Preston Magistrates Court
Preston Magistrates Court

Two thieves tried to smuggle a vast haul of crockery worth £1,000 from a popular garden centre.

William Appleton and his accomplice Craig Thomas Hammer walked into Barton Grange garden centre and tried to smuggle out the large amount of crockery.

At the time, Appleton was already subject to a community order.

Appleton, 60, of Waterloo Terrace, Ashton, Preston, admitted stealing £1,137 worth of items from Barton Grange garden centre in Bilsborrow.

The bench at Preston Magistrates’ Court said it was a “high value planning joint enterprise”, after hearing how the pair entered the garden centre on October 4.

Appleton also admitted stealing £1,150 of spirits from Booths supermarket in Garstang on August 19 and must pay compensation of £382 to the firm.

He was jailed for 20 weeks and must pay a £180 court charge.

Craig Hammer, 28, of Higher Walton Road, Walton-le-Dale, also admitted stealing the crockery.

However, he avoided a jail term and he was instead ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work and to pay £230 compensation. He must also pay a £60 surcharge and £180 courts charge.

Barton Grange declined to comment about the theft.

It is part of the Barton Grange Group empire, owned and run by the Topping family from Barton.