THREE men have appeared in court charged with stealing... a wall.
Blackburn magistrates heard the trio had dismantled a large section of a dry stone wall in the Trough of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
They were stopped by a police patrol in the early hours of the morning because the back of their van was riding low on its suspension.
The driver told the officer there were just “bits and pieces” in the back, but when he opened the doors lumps of stone fell out onto the road.
Christopher Andrew Buck (25), of Marine Road West, Ryan Howard (23), of Low Road, and Robert Macintyre (25), of Heysham Road, all in Morecambe, pleaded guilty to theft of a dry stone wall belonging to Karen Parker. They were all made subject to an electronically monitored curfew between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. for three months and ordered to pay £150 with £85 costs.
Miss Catherine Allan (prosecuting) said the Bowland area had a large quantity of stone walling and in recent months theft of stone had become a problem.
“The police have introduced patrols to combat this problem and one of them saw the defendants’ van near Slaidburn,” said Miss Allan, who applied for £450 to rebuild the wall to the standard required by English Heritage.
Mr Kevin Bamber (defending) said it was an unsophisticated crime committed by three men looking to make a small amount of money.
“The stone was all recovered but we accept the wall has to be rebuilt and that has to be paid for,” said Mr Bamber.