Bridgwater men sentenced

Two Bridgwater men have been convicted of the theft and dishonest handling of property. Property stolen included quad bikes, trailers, a 4×4 vehicle and a motorhome with a combined value of c£45,000. The items were taken from farms across west Somerset. The tehfts took place during the first half of 2020 and led to a a lengthy police investigation.

Jeffery Hughes, 45, of John Street and Gareth Hayward, 19, of Coleridge Square, both pleaded guilty to the charges. The pair appeared at Taunton Crown Court for sentencing on Thursday 10 February. Hughes was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for two years. He was also made subject to an overnight curfew and fitted with an electronic tag. Hayward was given a Community Order for 180 hours and disqualified from driving for two years.

Speaking after the sentencing, Superintendent Dickon Turner, Somerset Commander and Rural Affairs lead, said: “We will continue to take a robust approach to pursuing offenders who threaten the well-being and livelihoods of people who live and work in our rural communities. We urge the public to continue to report rural thefts, damage and wildlife crimes to us, and tell us about any suspicious behaviour they witness.”

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