A would-be burglar who was stopped in a car containing a haul of weapons has avoided an immediate jail term.
Connor Topping, 22, of Homestead, Preston, was among three arrested after neighbours reported a break in attempt underneath a business premises on Runshaw Lane, Euxton, on March 29.
Preston Crown Court heard at midnight a neighbour was awoken by the sounds of a car and saw a stationary BMW outside.
A few moments later he heard banging noises and saw men trying to break in to a neighbour’s garage- one with a metal bar and the other shoulder barging the door.
The court heard police were called and the BMW was stopped as it tried to pull away.
A large machete, a Bear Grylls knife, a black ski mask and a four inch Whitby knife with a camouflaged grip were found in the car.
Topping, who has five convictions for seven offences, failed to attend a court hearing and was on the run for more than three months, but has now admitted attempted burglary.
Another man, Kyle Jordan, 24, of Derwent Road, Chorley, and getaway driver Nicole Duke, 25, also of Derwent Road, Chorley, were convicted over the same incident. Jordan was jailed for 180 days while Duke received 15 months suspended for a year, with a rehabilitation requirement and 200 hours unpaid work.
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Defending, Tom Lord said: “This defendant accepts that socialising with people like Kyle Jordan will end in a spiral of reoffending.”
He said the defendant had since gained work as a construction worker, was earning good money and had a stable relationship.
As he stood to be sentenced, Topping appeared to have chest pains and was told to ‘calm himself’ by Judge Nicholas Barker.
He said: “Somewhat worryingly this vehicle had within it a collection of weapons, but it’s accepted you are not responsible for that.
“You failed to attend court and were at large. What you thought was going to happen I have no idea.”
He imposed a community order for 24 months, with 100 hours unpaid work.