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Plants stolen from front garden were ‘stuffed into the boot’ of father’s Renault Espace before being driven to their new homes
Two men spent £1,500 driving around the south-east of England ‘copying Google Maps’ before attempting to sneak out at least two tonnes of stolen gorse and said they were planning to sell it.
The pair, who remain on bail, had a final, uneasy chat with police at their rendezvous point just before they tried to make their escape, a court heard.
The haul, stolen in a rip-off of gorse to be used as artificial turf, included fascias and mannequins.
It was estimated to be worth up to £10,000 in the grey market as it is in demand by cormetrics, people involved in a market that grows cormets – specimens of mosses and liverworts – that are used for nutritional supplements.
South East Essex police laid out an elaborate plot to catch the offenders in their own words.
Two men (pictured) who drove in a black Renault Espace from Bow to Slough were intercepted by police after nearly 70 tonnes of gorse was stolen from a plot at Ferndown, Dorset
'Not good enough' Essex youngsters branded'sneaky and dishonest' after being 'trolled' for flouting rules By John Langton for the Essex Echo in Maldon, Essex CUDDLE and LESSONS FROM A NIGHT CLASS Supermarket worker Oliver Hawkins is giving advice to youngsters taking night classes in Maldon as a new scheme launches a ‘Twister’ style night out to draw attention to the serious reasons teenagers should avoid skiving. The 18-year-old (pictured) is becoming a parent for the first time later this year and has just completed night classes at Grange Academy in Maldon to improve his studies. The father-of-one said his fellow students will be keen to attend a community night, known as Strolling on the Spot, in a bid to spread awareness about what he has discovered. It is about making sure everyone is visible and if we can’t, then we can’t. It’s simple and cheap. They just need to get out there and go out and chill in the cold or be chilled by the heat. ‘They will come out in the cold to do their day’s work and if they want to come out and get to know each other on a night they can do it because it’s not too late,’ he said. ‘It is not too late to be whoever they want to be. ‘If there is no curfew they could do what they want. You have to make sure you do something you are prepared to get arrested for. Some people are prepared to get arrested for anything. It is scary because you could get held in custody and it would not be the first time. ‘It’s as simple as that. The streets will be empty when you are trying to do something. It is important for parents to start having conversations with their children at an early age. ‘I knew I was in the wrong because I was going out so late. I felt I should have asked my parents and I am learning from that. ‘I was going out because of friends and it is difficult to give them the right answer. There is not just one right answer, because every kid is different. ‘I could say it was my choice, but if you got arrested you can’t do that. ‘You have to use common sense, use your brain and trust your parents. You do not know what your parents think or what they are telling you. ‘Even if they say not to do something, do not do it. You may get away with it, but in the long run you will be disappointed. Parents have to be realistic with what they want their children to do and if they get it wrong, they are not going to be happy. ‘I will be back in college next week and it will help me out massively. If I had to do it all over again, I would not do it again. ‘If you are going to get any extra money, it is worth it to get that out of a night out, you would be paying for one person out of that night. There is something about a night out that is worth it, even if you get kicked out. ‘We all like to go out and have a night but if you can get paid for that, it is good.’ CUDDLE EFL teacher Ben Birkett (pictured) said he would not advise youngsters to skive but has been asked to give advice as a new Strolling on the Spot night takes place in Maldon on Tuesday. ‘I could say to anyone in my position that if they were going out, they should ask their parents but that does not mean they will get their answer,’ he said. ‘I have worked in education for five years and I can think of one person who told me to get a job and that did not work.’ Also to be encouraged are people who come together to chat and find out what they can do for one another, he added. Advertisement
There were no fireworks, a plastic barrel or other dangerous items used in the heist, the trial at Chelmsford Crown Court heard.
It is believed two men in the village of Farnham were behind the robbery of the plot at Ferndown, Dorset.
One man drove a black Renault Espace with the other in the passenger seat while talking on the phone and mapping out the route.
The plan to take the gorse and manure was drawn up over four days by the second man, who arrived at the plot in the Espace on four days.
Sometime between Tuesday, August 22 and Wednesday, August 23, the pair managed to force open a gate and began taking off the gorse.
But two Dorset Constabulary officers were following the stolen vehicle and before it could be taken away, the thieves had to make their escape.