AN ‘incompetent’ thief from Padiham – caught in the act trying to load a trail bike into the boot of a Fiat Punto – has been jailed for 12 months.

Bike owner Paul Chester and his partner Alicia Cryer were awoken by loud noises at their Altham Street home just before midnight on August 22, Burnley Crown Court was told.

When they looked out of the window they saw two men trying to load Mr Chester’s trail bike into the back of a waiting car, the court heard.

Prosecutor Richard Archer said that when the couple went outside, Martin Carroll was seen to throw the bike to the ground and flee in the car.

But Carroll and his accomplice were recog-nised by the pair and the police were alerted shortly afterwards.

Mr Archer said that 10 days previously Carroll, a part-time window cleaner, had appeared before the crown court to receive a suspended prison sentence.

The Lancashire Tele-graph reported in August how he brandished a foot-long carving knife at the mother of his child and threatened to stab her if he was not allowed into her house.

Carroll, 32, of Longton Road, admitted attempted theft and breaching a suspended sentence order.

Nick Dearing, def-ending, said his client accepted he had been ‘extremely fortunate’ when he received the suspended sentence.

Carroll had made attempts to be abstinent and it was a ‘source of great disappointment’ that he had carried out the attempted theft while under the influence.

“It is unlikely that they would have been likely to get a bike of that size in the boot of that car, which indicates how incompetent this act was,” he added.