Collared for having stolen dog food

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A man who bought out of date stolen dog food was doubly unlucky – first his pet wouldn’t eat it and then he was collared by police with a search warrant.

Simon Gilbert (32), of Thames Road, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods, a quantity of Petface dog food, at an address in Holbeach Clough on April 4.

Deborah Cartwright, prosecuting, said there was a burglary at a commercial premises, Petface at Holbeach, some time overnight on March 19-20, when a trailer was broken into and a large quantity of dog food was stolen.

Police executed a search warrant at an address in Holbeach Clough on April 4 – when Gilbert was present – and a large bag of dog food was recovered.

Ms Cartwight told Thursday’s hearing at Boston Magistrates’ Court that Gilbert admitted to having bought the dog food for £10 from a man outside a pub.

She said the dog food was of little value because it was out of date.

Ms Cartwright told District Judge John Stobart: “As the Court of Appeal has repeatedly said, without handlers there wouldn’t be burglars.”

Solicitor Liz Harte, mitigating, said Gilbert was out one night when there was a man selling bags of dog food for £10.

She said: “He realised it was probably a bit dodgy. When he got them home, he found they were out of date.

“His dog, who was obviously of some taste in these matters, wouldn’t touch them which is why they weren’t being used when the police came round.”

Miss Harte told Mr Stobart there were pictures of the dog food if he wanted to see them.

He replied: “No – and I don’t want to taste it either.”

She said Gilbert normally worked as a gardener and fencer, but had sustained a serious injury involving a lot of time off work and surgery

Mr Stobart told Gilbert: “I would have thought with your record you would know it’s a stupid idea to get something so cheap that it has got to be stolen, especially something so useless as out of date dog food.”

He sentenced Gilbert to a conditional discharge for six months and ordered him to pay £85 costs.