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Friday, 25 July 2014

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Boat missing from channel found in parking space

A FISHING boat that disappeared from its mooring at Walney turned up in a parking bay outside a Barrow house, a court heard.

By the time the vessel was traced it was already being stripped down.

The gearbox was damaged and gloss paint had been inappropriately used on top of an original coat of paint, Preston Crown Court was told.

Darren Hill, 47, admitted handling the stolen boat and was given a 12-month community order which will involve him carrying out 120 hours unpaid work.

Hill, of Bath Street, Barrow was told by Judge Andrew Woolman: “It was a mean offence. It is a small community. You knew the boat had been there in the harbour for quite a long time. I have no doubt in the local community they will regard you with suspicion from now on. They are quite right to do so”.

The court heard that the 16-ft boat belonged to Terence Barnard. He had owned it for around 15 years.

He kept the boat in memory of his late father and going on the vessel was said to be his only pleasure.

Miss Rachel Faux, prosecuting, said in late July last year Mr Barnard went on holiday. The boat was left moored outside the Ferry Hotel at Walney.

The hotel owner’s son was keeping an eye on the boat and reported in missing to police.

It was found outside Hill’s address and the vessel was already being stripped down. In police interview the defendant maintained he had met someone in a pub who offered to sell the boat to him.

He said he bought it, thinking it belonged to that person. The vessel was said to be worth £1,200.

Defence barrister Mr Saul Brody said Hill had only realised the boat was stolen when he received it.

“He was given the opportunity to buy it for £500.

“He rather foolishly succumbed to the temptation to be the owner of a boat, intending to use it for angling.

“He regrets his involvement in this transaction.

“Someone was helping him do work on the boat, which was outside his house, on a trailer.”

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