A TEENAGE thief caught red-handed trying to steal a £1,000 boat engine just a day after being granted bail has been jailed.
Kyle Turner was spotted by police on the roof of the boat, which was parked on the owner’s driveway at 5.30am on August 21.
When the officers asked the 19-year-old what he was doing, he told them he was fixing it for a friend – but when they knocked on the owner’s door, he said he had no idea who Turner was.
Turner had appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court the previous day, where he admitted stealing a case of Foster’s lager from Sainsbury’s in Binchester Street, South Shields.
Turner was back at the court to be sentenced for that theft, the attempted theft of the boat engine and a charge of handling stolen goods – in relation to a stolen bottle of rum found in his possession on August 1.
The court heard that Turner has 16 previous convictions.
District Judge Andrew Davison said: “You can use alcohol to justify your actions to yourself, but it is not acceptable to the court.
“You don’t have an attractive record for a 19-year-old. The day after getting bail from the court, you were caught trying to steal a boat motor. A custodial sentence should follow.”
Turner, of Stanhope Road, South Shields, was sentenced to six months in jail, reduced to three months and three weeks for his guilty plea.
Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “He was granted bail on the Tuesday and, at 5.30am on the Wednesday he was caught red-handed in the boat.
“He initially said he was working on the boat for a friend.
“But the owner said he had never seen him before.
“The ignition and battery leads had been cut and he had two spanners at hand.
“When at the police station, he admitted he had been trying to steal the engine.”
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “A short custodial sentence will mean he will get out of prison with no support network and be in the same position he is in now.
“The risk of re-offending and risk to the public will still be there.”