A LEAD thief jumped over a back yard wall with his bag of swag and landed in front of two police officers on foot patrol.

John Sandon, 30, of Albert Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to theft of lead belonging to Hyndburn Borough Council.

He was fined £75 with £85 costs.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said large areas of Accrington were part of an urban regeneration programme and a number of houses were boarded up awaiting rennovation.

She said Sandon was in the rear yard of one such property when he jumped over the back wall.

“Unfortunately, he landed right in the front of two police officers who were patrolling on foot,” said Miss Allan.

“He was carrying a bag of lead which had been removed from one of the properties.”

Gareth Price, defending, said word quickly spread along the grapevine when there was lead available.

“He was hoping to make a bit of money and, as he said, hadn’t really thought the lead belonged to anyone,” said Mr Price.