Clowne man caught with burglary tools in derelict Worksop pub
A man who was caught in a derelict Worksop pub with burglary tools armed himself with a crowbar "for his own protection," magistrates have heard.
Police were called to the Old Ship Inn, on Bridge Street, on October 18, last year, where they found James Neeve and two other men trying to flee.
Prosecutor Sanjay Jerath described how Neeve was carrying a jemmy tool, a small glass breaker hammer, two torches and gloves, as well as a small quantity of amphetamine.
Just over a month later, on November 26, officers investigating attempts to steal high-value cars came across Neeve dressed in dark clothing and wearing a head-torch.
He was carrying a small crowbar, which he said was for his own protection.
Neeve claimed he was walking at night because he owed money to people and "didn't leave the house during the day," Mr Jerath said.
The court heard he has four previous convictions for five offences, including two for dishonesty. He was last in court in January 2019 for breaching a community order imposed for a non-dwelling burglary.
Magistrates heard that because he has a previous conviction for possessing a knife, he faces a six month sentence.
Mr Jerath said Neeve was arrested with a folding lock knife in 2015, in relation to a charge of theft by finding copper piping that belonged to Western Power Distribution.
Arjun Madahar, mitigating, said it would be unjust to activate the six month sentence because it was six years since the offence and there was a realistic prospect of his rehabilitation.
He said drug abuse was a "major factor" in Neeve’s offending, which started after his mother's death a few years ago, and he has caring responsibilities for his grandparents, who are in their eighties.
"A custodial sentence would have a significant impact on them," Mr Madahar added.
Neeve, 26, of Neale Street, Clowne, Chesterfield, admitted going equipped for theft, possession of an offensive weapon and a Class B drug, on February 3.
Magistrates sentenced him to a total of six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, with ten rehabilitation days and a six month drug treatment programme. He must pay a £128 surcharge with £85 costs.