Farmer’s reward for confronting thieves
A FARMER who confronted three intruders and helped bring a career criminal to justice was awarded £500 from public funds for his bravery.
David Pentelow was working on his land near the Fernbrook bio plant in Braybrooke when he spotted a van and intruders in the site on August 29 last year.
Northampton Crown Court heard how he used his tractor to block the van, with its registration plates covered with newspaper, from leaving, forcing it to crash through a fence.
Claire Howell, prosecuting, said: “He saw what was happening as he drove his tractor along the side of the site and a white van and, significantly, noticed its number plates covered.
“He positioned his tractor, rather bravely, in such a way as to prevent them from leaving and he is to be commended for that because a lot of people would not have done anything.
“The three men decided to get away by whatever means necessary, driving out at speed, removing the fence, owned by Mr Pentelow, in order to get away, causing £500 damage. Rather unfortunately for Mr Pentelow, having done the right thing, he suffered some extra loss to himself by his actions.”
Miss Howell said the three burglars, including 39-year-old William Wallace, of Justin Park, Harborough, had stolen metal mixing nozzles, worth £10,000, from the site.
He was later identified from CCTV footage taken from the Rothwell Road site.
The court heard Wallace was jailed for four years at Leicester Crown Court last month after the rogue roofer was convicted of fleecing vulnerable pensioners by £50,000 for sub-standard work.
He targeted pensioners, aged between 70-88 years, in three counties.
Recorder Roger Evans sentenced him to 12 months’ imprisonment, to be served concurrently to his four-year sentence, after Wallace pleaded guilty to theft.
The judge said he would recommend Mr Pentelow for a bravery award from the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire and awarded him £500, under legislation passed in 1826.
He said: “Three men in a van, at unattended commercial premises, that’s a brave thing to have done to prevent them from escaping.
“Mr Pentelow was acting towards the apprehension of these offenders and further than that, by blocking their exit, he acted in not just a public-spirited fashion but bravely and the consequences were the van had to ram its way through the fence which actually belonged to Mr Pentelow and cost him to repair.
“For his public spirited fashion and the loss to himself, it is entirely appropriate I award him £500 from public funds and thank him on behalf of this county.”
Jagvir Sangherra, mitigating, said Wallace’s offences were committed to fund his dependency to Class A drugs, for which he is now seeking treatment for in prison.
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