A MAN caught with two others attempting to steal a car was convicted of the offence after a trial.

Blackburn magistrates heard he had just been out for a ride with the other two who had travelled up from Birmingham.

But District Judge James Clarke he did not accept the explanation put forward by Joseph William Ragnall.

"A quantity of number plates and a key fob reader were found at your home and two sets of car keys were found on you," said District Judge Clarke. "That blows a hole in your claim that you were just out for a ride at 1 am. I don't accept that at all."

Ragnall, 32, of Ayr Road, Blackburn, was convicted after a trial of attempted theft of a motor vehicle. He was made subject to a curfew for five months betyween 7 pm and 7 am and banned from driving for eight weeks. He was ordered to pay £200 compensation for damage caused to the vehicle, £300 costs and £85 victim surcharge.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said police came across three men near a Ford Focus at about 1 am and one of them was leaning in through a broken window.

When the police approached the men ran over to a black BMW and Raglan was sitting in that car when he was arrested.

"The defendant's case at the trial was that he was not one of the people near the Focus and he had been sitting in the BMW all along," said Mr Robinson. "He was in possession of Ford key and a Ford skeleton key."

Richard Prew, defending, said his client said he was at home with a friend who knew the two men who had travelled up from Birmingham in the BMW.

"He was not one of the main players but has to accept the decision of the trial court," said Mr Prew.