Two men caused thousands of pounds worth of damage at several units in a business park as they attempted to steal goods.

Burnley Crown Court heard Ryan Price, 26, and Carl Thomas, 21, tripped an intruder alarm at Witton Business Park in Blackburn in the early hours of Saturday, August 19.

A worker from one of the units found the back door to be smashed, the office lights on, and they could hear banging coming from within the unit.

Police were told by the worker they had seen a white van outside another unit which had collided with the shutters.

The yard was searched and they found a vehicle with the headlights on and two men inside.

They revved the engine and reversed the vehicle towards the officer, who managed to get out of the way.

The pair ran off again but were found hiding among stock in one of the units, and began complying with the officers when they had Tasers pointed at them.

Representatives from the affected businesses described the damage caused to their units, particularly the shutter doors, the unplugging of CCTV cameras, and staff lockers.

Among the recovered items was a plastic bag containing six electronic tablets worth between £3,500 to 4,000.

Items not recovered included the keys to two Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans, which affected deliveries the following day.

In a statement read out in court by prosecuting barrister Tobias Collins, Usman Hussain, transport manager at BB Catering, one of the affected businesses, said: “The offence feels personal and is something we have all taken to heart.

"The offenders clearly had no regards to the business or the people it provides for and I hope they are dealt with accordingly.

Craig Denmark, from TFR Group, also said: “Since this incident we have had to put time and effort into rectifying the damage caused at a significant cost to our business.

“No one has the right to enter the business premises without consent. In the current economic climate, no business wants to incur additional costs.”

Price, of Islington, Blackburn, has four previous convictions from 17 offences.

Mitigating for him, Darren Finnigan said his client had been on license at the time and had acknowledged there was an inevitability about his fate.

He had been staying in accommodation in Burnley following his release from prison, but when he was moved back to Blackburn his behaviour deteriorated again, leading to this offending.

Mr Finnigan, also representing Thomas, also of Islington, Blackburn, said he was very vulnerable to negative influences in his peer group.

He added the pair had met at the hostel in Blackburn and both men were at a disadvantage due to their circumstances.

Sentencing, Recorder Daniel Prowse said: “There were a number of businesses affected by your activities. There was an impact on the staff working there.

“These were serious offences which led to a significant financial loss and upset to the people who worked at those businesses.”

The pair had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of non-dwelling burglary and one count of theft.

Price was sentenced to 14 months in prison, minus time spent on remand.

Thomas was sentenced to 10 months suspended for 18 months, with 250 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Addressing Thomas, Recorder Prowse added: “It is high time you grew up. The first step in that process is to stop hanging around people who lead you into trouble.

"If you squander the opportunity I have given you today you know where you are going.”