Pair handled stolen goods
Two Frome men who were stopped by police and found in possession of a stolen quad bike and ride-on lawnmower have appeared in court.
Leslie Cooper, 40, of Gypsy Lane, pleaded guilty to dishonestly receiving a green Yamaha quad bike worth £2,500 belonging to David Hill on the A350 at Shaftesbury on September 3.
He also admitted a similar charge involving a green John Deere ride-on mower worth £2,000 belonging to Avon and Somerset police.
His co-defendant Jobey Henry Ayres pleaded not guilty to two identical charges when the pair were brought before South Somerset magistrates in custody.
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Prosecutor Gordon Richings said the quad bike, which had a tracker fitted, was stolen from an address near Shepton Mallet. The mower was taken from Buckland Dinham.
"Both were tracked to a remote field where they were found hidden under tarpaulin and covered with branches so they could not be seen from the road or by air," he said.
"The situation was monitored and on September 3 the tracker systems on both machines were activated and the police found their location and stopped a hire van on the A350 near Shaftesbury.
"Cooper was driving the vehicle and Ayres was the passenger, and when the vehicle was searched they found the two stolen machines."
Chris Baddoo, defending Cooper, said his client was from the travelling community but his family was settled in the Frome area and he had put his hands up to the offence.
The magistrates adjourned the case against Cooper until September 28 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.
The case against Ayres was adjourned to November 6 when he must stand trial before the court at Yeovil.
Both defendants were released on bail with conditions not to contact named witnesses, to report to Frome police three times a week and to live and sleep at their home address.