Burglar who attempted to steal a cash machine from a Flitch Green Co-op handed 'second chance'

PUBLISHED: 09:06 26 July 2018

Luke Scott was given a two-year suspended sentence attempting to steal a cash machine for a shop in Flitch Green. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Luke Scott was given a two-year suspended sentence attempting to steal a cash machine for a shop in Flitch Green. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Archant

A man who attempted to steal a cash machine from a shop in Flitch Green, which caused thousands of pounds worth of damage, has avoided prison after a court heard he only took part in the burglary because of debts he owed to a loan shark.

Luke Scott, 31, of Takely Ride, Basildon, was given a two-year suspended prison sentence at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday for his part in the burglary, which took place at about 2am on April 2, 2017.

Scott had previously admitted burglary on March 20 and was due to be sentenced with Phillip Pardoe, 32, of the Hyde, in Langdon Hills, who had been found guilty of burglary in relation to the same incident.

Pardoe’s sentencing was adjourned for reports.

Pardoe also admitted the theft of a motor vehicle used in the incident.

Prosecutor Joe Bird told the court that Scott and Pardoe “went equipped with a crow bar and hammer that was apparently used to break the window” of the Co-op, before entering the store and wrapping a chain around a cash machine and attaching it to a car.

After unsuccessful attempts, the pair and two others, who have not been traced, left the scene.

Mr Bird said thousands of pounds worth of damage was done and the store lost out on business.

A probation officer told the court that Scott claimed he had become “desperate for money” and entered a “vicious circle of debt”.

The man who he owned money to told Scott he wanted two stolen cars delivered, and this would wipe out the debt.

This, Scott claimed, led to him taking part in the burglary.

Defending, Richard Conley said a £100 loan from a “loan shark” resulted in “a debt of £3,000 which he [Scott] simply did not have the means to repay”.

Mr Conley said: “It is a matter of shame to him to have to look his children in the eye when they visit him in prison...he has always tried to show them the right path.”

Sentencing, Judge Patricia Lynch said she had no reason not to accept that Scott was in a “viscous circle of debt”.

She said: “Normally this sort of crime never attracts this sort of sentence. You are being given a chance, make that most of that chance. I do not have to underline that I give one chance and one chance only.”

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