Farmer foils burglary by catching thieves red-handed

A farmer caught two thieves making off with his father’s equipment and foiled their attempted burglary, Devon Live has reported.

Samuel Ayre was ploughing the field at Shute Farm, Crediton, on 9 April 2017 when he noticed two people loading items from his father’s farm into a car.

See also: 9 tips to combat farm theft during darker nights

When he rushed over he found lots of items inside, including a hedge-trimmer, chainsaw, leaf blower and strimmer, and spotted the men walking off down the driveway, leaving their car.

After he called the police, the men, Trevor Gray and John Milligan, were found in a pub in Shobrooke and arrested.

Court case

Mr Gray and Emma Gray, who is Mr Gray’s sister and Mr Milligan’s girlfriend, stood trial at Exeter Crown Court. DNA from a can found in the car matched Ms Gray, the prosecution told the court.

Mr Gray, 29, of Lock Close in Sidmouth, declined to give evidence to the jury in his defence and was found guilty of the burglary.

Ms Gray, 32, of Burnthouse Lane in Exeter, was cleared of burglary. Mr Milligan admitted burglary at an earlier date.  

Recorder Jane Rowley told Mr Gray: “You have been convicted by the jury of burglary and I am going to adjourn sentence. This is a serious matter for which all sentencing options remain open, including prison.”

She ordered a pre-sentence report to be prepared to hear more about the defendant’s background.

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