Are these men Lancashire’s stupidest criminals of 2015?

Pictured: Philip Mortlock, Geoff Sheard, Kaine Kelly and Jason Cassidy

Pictured: Philip Mortlock, Geoff Sheard, Kaine Kelly and Jason Cassidy

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• Strolled past chippy - a day after attempted theft

• Burglar put his foot in it - leaving sock at scene!

• Bungling thief foiled by man praying at church

Could these be Lancashire’s daftest criminals of 2015?

It was stupid of him to think he wouldn’t be recognised.

Karzan Omar

Each of the bungling criminals in this Evening Post rogues gallery found themselves in court this year after committing crassly stupid crimes.

In February a bungling thief who tried to steal part of a church’s PA system was foiled by a man who was praying.

Read the full story published in February 2015 here

Anthony Schurock, 38, of Lancaster Road North, Preston, was seen walking into St Wilfrid’s RC Church on Chapel Street, Preston, by a member of the congregation.

He ended up being fined £200, but the court heard 11 days after the attempted theft Schurock was struck down with septicaemia and was in hospital for six weeks.

In March a young family told how they foiled brazen thief Jason Cassidy when he casually strolled past their chippy – the day after trying to burgle them.

Read the full story published in March 2015 here

Karzan Omar, 36, of Harry’s Fish Bar in Moor Road, Chorley, recognised him walking past the day after he had tried to break in, in the middle of the night.

He said: “It was stupid of him to think he wouldn’t be recognised.”

Cassidy, 39, of Thirlmere Road, Chorley, was jailed for 28 months after he also admitted robbing a 65-year-old woman as she got into her car, after collecting her 94-year-old’s mother’s pension.

House burglar Kaine Kelly, 21, of no fixed abode, put his foot in it – literally – after leaving his sock at a crime scene.

Read more on this story originally published March 2015 here

He will be toeing the line in prison this winter as he serves 24 months for two burglaries in Preston.

Edward Brown and Philip Mortlock, who were armed with CS gas, did not count upon the bravery of victim Mildred Unsworth, 80, who valiantly tried to defend her son, a retired jeweller, and his wife during a raid at their rural home near Lancaster.

Read the original news story from May 2015 here

The plan had been masterminded by their accomplice Peter Singleton, an acquaintance of her son, jeweller Neil Unsworth, 67.

After being tackled by the pensioner the thugs fled. Mortlock, 63, of Millbrook Court, Heywood, Lancashire, was seen bruised and battered by a witness at 8.15am that morning and he was arrested 30 minutes later. Singleton was arrested at Manchester Airport trying to flee to the Phillippines.

Mortlock and Brown, 52 , of Hilltop Drive, Rochdale, and Singleton, 53, of Lower Lime Road, Oldham, were jailed in May.

But surpassing all of them has to be wannabe tycoon Geoff Sheard.

After a bid to buy Sheffield Wednesday football club went wrong a few years ago, Sheard, 52, of Broad Acre, Caton, near Lancaster, started working for a parcel firm.

But the former businessman was helping himself to thousands of pounds of packages containing mobile phones.

The crook stupidly sold them on his eBay account directly linked to his address, so when police traced them, the trail led straight back to Sheard.

He is due to be sentenced on January 20 at Preston Crown Court.