Man tried to steal greenhouse

A CURFEW has been imposed on a dad who tried to steal a nursery greenhouse for scrap.

The offence took place at Ashgreen Nurseries, off Sheffield Road, Sheepbridge, Chesterfield, on January 9.

Landowner Peter Lister told police that heavy snow had caused the aluminium greenhouse to sag and it could no longer be used.

He saw some men loading pieces of the 40ft x 25ft greenhouse into a truck and locked the site gates until they unloaded the vehicle.

Three days later, a tenant using the land alerted Mr Lister that three men were removing the greenhouse.

“They told the tenant they had permission to take it for scrap from a man with a black and white dog,” prosecutor Bill Taylor told town magistrates.

The gates were locked to trap the vehicle inside the site and the raiders fled. A police helicopter was called in and William Neill was arrested but the others escaped.

Neill (38) of The Willows, Pleasley, told officers: “I can’t believe they sent a helicopter, just for an aluminium greenhouse - I was more worried about the dogs being brought in.”

Neill, who appeared in court in custody, had initially denied attempted theft but pleaded guilty on the day of his trial.

He further admitted breaching bail by failing to attend a court hearing on July 20. He had also skipped his first court date on February 28

“The offence arises from the breakdown of a relationship. Drugs have been an issue but not in relation to this matter,” said his solicitor, Marianne Connally, adding that he had been prescribed methadone in custody.

The justices imposed a 9pm-5am curfew for three months and a one-year probation supervision order, with £300 costs.

The court heard that Neill had a lengthy record of offending but had stayed out of trouble for four years prior to this offence.