THREE men were caught red-handed as they tried to steal from a farm where two of them had previously worked.

Blackburn magistrates heard that agricultural mechanic John Ingham returned to the Chatburn farm unexpectedly after his vehicle broke down.

He saw one of the men lurking in the shadows and managed to apprehend him after a short chase.

Garry Stephen Morgan, 19, and Kevin Stephen Tyrer, 21, both of Harrison Drive, and Kieran Peter Potts, 18, of Birtwistle Avenue, all in Colne, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary at Bellman farm, Clitheroe Road, Chatburn.

Morgan was put on probation for 12 months, Tyrer was ordered to do 150 hours community service and Potts was ordered to do 100 hours community service. They were all ordered to pay £50 costs.

Eddie Harrison, prosecuting, said Mr Ingham had finished work at about 7pm and had set off home in a works vehicle.

On the way, the vehicle broke down and Mr Ingham eventually returned to collect his own vehicle at about 10.30pm.

"As he pulled up he saw someone lurking behind a wall," said Mr Harrison. "He shouted and then gave chase before eventually detaining Tyrer."

The other two were arrested later by police.

Mr Harrison said entry had been gained to a building by pulling out the bottom of a large sliding door and the alarm had been de-activated by someone who knew the code. Tools worth £805 had been taken out of the building but they were all recovered.

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