TWO men sentenced at Truro Crown Court for burglaries and the theft of a substantial quantity of tools in the Bude area were caught after their involvement in a road accident.
Prosecutor Bathsheba Cassell said that police who attended the accident were told that 29-year-old Michael Brickley, of Briar Road, Bude, and Richard Henry, 28, of Langdon Road, Bradworthy, had been seen throwing a strimmer and slab-cutter into a ditch.
Truro Crown Court heard on Friday that the tools were among those stolen earlier in two burglaries at a barn at Penalt and a cottage garage in Bude. Henry claimed that tools seized at his home had been purchased legitimately.
Miss Cassell revealed that Henry had seven previous convictions for 12 offences, including burglary, since 2003.
Brickley had a record of 26 convictions for 46 offences since 1997.
Rupert Taylor, for Henry's defence, pointed out that he had not been in trouble for some years and it was regrettable that he had not pleaded guilty until the day of his trial.
Mr Taylor said that at the time he was at a very low ebb, having separated from his partner, but they were now reconciled and he was due to become a father in seven weeks.
Henry was a roofer, taking home £340 to £360 a week, and was hoping to move to Torrington.
Ramsay Quaife, defending Brickley, a father of two, said that he was doing well on a community order.
Recorder Andrew Langdon, QC, gave Henry "considerable credit" for having gained employment. He was given a 12-month community order involving 200 hours of unpaid work and a tagged curfew, every day for four months.
The Recorder told Brickley: "If you had not made considerable strides in turning your life around you would be going to prison today."
Brickley was given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years with a supervision requirement and participation in a Building Better Relationships programme.