Norwich trio caught with bolt croppers and latex gloves

A Norwich gang has appeared in court after being caught with bolt croppers and latex gloves and going equipped for theft.

Lee Butcher, 20, and two teenagers, a 15 and 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, all from the west of the city, all pleaded guilty to going equipped for theft when they appeared before city magistrates yesterday .

The 17-year-old also pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal from a shed at Low Road, Keswick, near Norwich, on June 17, and all three asked for eight other offences to be taken into consideration.

The case against Butcher, from Rockingham Road, was adjourned for probation reports, while the other two will be sentenced at Norwich youth court on Thursday .

Mark Davis, prosecuting, said that police officers were patrolling the area around Low Road in Keswick on June 17.

He said: 'Two men were standing next to a hedgerow along a dirt track just off the road. One was Butcher, who was found with bolt croppers and latex gloves.

'He was with the 15-year-old, and the 17-year-old was nearby, although the police did not know it at the time.

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'Butcher's explanation for having the bolt croppers was that he had borrowed them in case there were any locks on gates. He said they were looking for water butts, as a friend had said that he wanted some.'

James Burrows, for Butcher, said his client had admitted the offence at the scene, and had intended to sell on the items they stole.

He said Butcher had two children, aged two and three, with another child expected in September, and was currently unemployed.

Chairman of the bench, Carol Palmer said the offence was made worse because it was committed in a group, and it appeared to be theft to order.

She ordered a report looking at unpaid work for Butcher.