Bungling getaway driver got caught in traffic after 15 minutes

A bungling thief was caught carrying a stolen mini-digger on the back of a flatbed lorry just 15 minutes after he took it. Derby Crown Court heard how a witness called the police after seeing Jack Milner and a second man loading the item on to the back of the truck, which was also stolen. Just a quarter of an hour later police located both in traffic and stopped the 23-year-old dad-of-two.

They found a screwdriver had been jammed into the ignition of the lorry and also in the cab were a number of stolen registration plates. The hearing was told how he was the only member of the gang involved to have been arrested and charged.

Jailing him for a total of 16 months, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: "I accept you were not playing a leading role but it was a significant role. "It is quite plain that the number of stolen registration plates indicates they could have been used to steal not just one vehicle but a number of vehicles."

Steven Gosnell, prosecuting, said the incident took place on March 11 in Storforth Lane, Hasland, Chesterfield. He said: "The lorry had previously been stolen in Leicester and a woman called the police to say she had seen two men cutting a fence and were in the process of loading the mini-digger on to the back of it. Mr Gosnell said: "Police were able to stop the lorry on the A617 in Chesterfield and the defendant was the sole occupant.

"A screwdriver had been wedged into the ignition, there were a number of false plates inside it and the only had a provisional driving licence meaning he was also uninsured to drive it. "The value of the lorry was some GBP5,000 and the mini-digger some GBP11,000."

Bungling getaway driver got caught in traffic after 15 minutes

Milner, of Florence Place, Harehills, Leeds, pleaded guilty to driving matters, handling stolen goods and theft. He also admitted three further counts of handling stolen goods when sat-navs stolen from cars on driveways in North Yorkshire were found in a gift bag in the room of the bail hostel he was then living at, in Harrogate.

He has nine previous convictions for 13 offences. Arshad Mahmood, mitigating, said his client has recently been formally diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Bungling getaway driver got caught in traffic after 15 minutes

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To sign up, all you have to do is head to this page, or enter your email into the black box at the top of this story. He said: "He is clearly somebody that is easily-led, he was the driver, if anyone was going to get caught it was him. "He does have a partner and she has recently given birth to their second child."

Derbyshire police do not have a custody photograph of Milner.