THREE men stole a £150 generator from the disused Welland Hospital in Spalding.
Rebecca Ritson, prosecuting, said police know the hospital is in disrepair and it has been frequented by homeless people.
She said the generator was “a substantial piece of equipment” and when interviewed the men claimed to have bought it for £30 from someone they believed to be lawfully in charge.
But, when pressed, each man gave a different description of the seller.
Solicitor Andrew Goldsborough, representing the three men, said the generator was simply scrap.
Philip Burns (31), Billy-Jo Davies (30) and Jeremiah Smith (40) – who are next-door neighbours in Newbridge Lane, Wisbech – were each fined £150 and ordered to pay £35 costs with a £15 victim surcharge when they pleaded guilty to theft.
Mr Goldsborough said they are now trying to earn an income and have advertised as landscape gardeners.
Judge Richard Blake urged the men to find work.
He said: “Come back to me for this and I will start to think about putting you on a bus to Lincoln Prison.”