A BURGLAR who tried to steal two quad bikes after police refused to give him a lift home been sentenced to a community order.

John Halse and an accomplice, who was declared unfit to plead after his arrest, targeted the farm workshop near Northallerton as they attempted to walk home to Hartlepool.

Recorder Abdul Iqbal QC branded Halse's behaviour 'silly' as he sentenced him.

He said: "These are silly offences, especially for a man who is not heavily convicted like you. It's really because you don't have a long criminal record that I am not going to send you to prison immediately."

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said the the pair first came to the attention of the police when they were spotted walking along the road in the early hours of June 29 last year.

He said: "The defendant said he had been to a party in Northallerton and was walking towards Hartlepool, which is obviously some distance away.

"He asked the officer for a lift but this was refused, the police pointed out they were not a taxi service.

"It was clear from their demeanour that they were under the influence of intoxicants but the police let them get on their way."

Mr Dryden said they then started to call 999 and ask for a lift home before threatening to harm themselves and one of the defendants threatened to steal a quad bike.

The court heard how two men were seen by a farmer at around 7am with two of their quad bikes placed in a field.

Mr Dryden said the defendant made off when the farmer and his son confronted them.

"This defendant was aggressive towards the farmer saying that he wanted to fight him. At one point he picked up a piece of wood in both hands, put it above his head and was waving it around threatening to hit the farmer."

He said the police then arrived and arrested the pair. Both bikes were recovered but they had caused more than £650 worth of damage to the quad bikes.

Halse, 25, of Kilmarnock Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to non-dwelling burglary and threatening behaviour.

Stephen Constantine, in mitigation, said client was now able to partake in unpaid work after being 'signed off the sick'.

Halse was given a 12-month community order and told to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

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