Thief caught by quick-thinking neighbour

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A quick-thinking resident helped catch a thief after his wife spotted the offender breaking into a neighbour’s vehicle.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, November 15, how Barry James Gent, 38, of Adelaide Walk, Ironville, was detained by the resident and the victim until police arrived and arrested him.

Prosecuting solicitor Neil Hollett said: “It was early hours about 2am when the defendant was first seen by the resident’s wife after she had been woken by a noise.

“She woke her husband and he came to the window and saw the defendant near a neighbour’s vehicle and she called the police as her husband knocked on his neighbour’s door.

“They detained the defendant nearby and they discovered power tools had been taken from the vehicle and placed on a bridle path.”

Gent pleaded guilty to the theft which happened at Hollyhurst Court, Riddings, on October 30.

The defendant told police he had gone out intending to collect discarded cigarette ends because he was desperate for tobacco but when he found the complainant’s vehicle was unlocked he stole the tools.

Defence solicitor Michael Little said Gent suffers with mental health problems, has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and is classed as a vulnerable person.

Magistrates sentenced Gent to a 12 month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge.