Used angle grinder on steel container in ‘spontaneous’ act

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A 20-year-old man who tried to break into a steel container using an angle grinder was put on probation last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.

Ryan Potts, Millar Park, Lawrencetown, admitted attempting to steal building equipment and tools on October 8 last year and criminal damage to steel containers. He was put on probation for 12 months and ordered to pay £100 towards the damage he caused.

The court heard that around 6.30pm police received a report of someone using an angle grinder trying to get into a container on a building site in Gilford. The witness took the number of the vehicle as it was leaving the scene and it was linked to the defendant. Police spoke to Potts who said he had been out and about in the vehicle but was not near any building site. Police seized his car and the battery operated angle grinder.

The defendant’s barrister said Potts had paid £700 for the car and £400 for the grinder. He added that this was the first dishonesty conviction on his record and he had gathered £100 towards the cost of the damage. The barrister explained that Potts previously had a good employment history but suffered a serious accident and was not able to work. It was a case of too much time on his hands and no money in his pocket as his record accumulated in the past year. This incident was spontaneous and not pre-planned.

Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes said he accepted this was out of character. He added that Potts had already suffered financially through the loss of the car and the grinder.