Newark man who targeted Norfolk homes admits thefts

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A man who targeted Norfolk homes for thefts and a burglary, including one in Banham, has pleaded guilty.

Chris Hobson, of Collingham, in Newark, appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Friday faced with four charges, alongside Matthew Larkin, also of Collingham, who appeared in connection with two charges.

Hobson admitted to taking iron cast guttering of an unknown value from an outbuilding of a mill in Banham on April 9 at around 10.05am.

The white van was stopped at 10.30am on the same day in Garboldisham by police.

Mr Larking was also in the vehicle, which police searched and found a number of items, and the men were subsequently arrested.

The court heard how Hobson had enquired about purchasing some car batteries from Jonathan Stapleton, in North Tuddenham, on March 31. After Mr Stapleton refused, Hobson left but the court heard he was seen talking to another man enquiring about the goods.

Jane Foster, prosecuting, said: “When the owner of the batteries returned later in the day when they got home he noticed six car batteries were missing.”

CCTV footage showed a car, registered to Hobson, was seen driving to and leaving the premises. The value of the batteries were £150.

In Hingham on April 9, Hobson, with Larkin, stopped outside a property and began to load items of scrap metal, but the homeowner, Stanley Ryder, described by Ms Foster as an “elderly, retired gentleman” challenged the men.

“The two men became threatening,” said Ms Foster.

“One of them said ‘do you want to wind up in hospital?’”

The police attended, but after the men had left Mr Ryder noticed items, including metal angles and scaffolding of an unknown value had been stolen.

Mr Hobson pleaded guilty to two charges of theft, one charge of burglary, and one charge of using threatening behaviour, words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm and distress.

Magistrate Caroline Money told the men: “You intended to do this. You knew what you were doing.”

All of the items have been returned to their owners, the court was told.

The pair will return to Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Monday, July 7 to be sentenced.




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