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Ormskirk golf club thief jailed for 16 months

The man was spotted by a police helicopter when he made his getaway

Mark Jones, 43, of Arnhem Road, Huyton, was jailed for 16 months after Ormskirk Golf Club theft

A gang member who helped to burgle Ormskirk Golf Club has been jailed for 16 months.

Mark Jones was arrested by police after being seen from a police helicopter getting into a getaway vehicle.

He claimed he was driving home from a friend's house but had no explanation for why his clothes were muddy and made no comment in interview.

But Liverpool Crown Court heard that he later gave a prepared statement denying involvement and claiming he had been out "dogging."

43-year-old Jones, of Arnhem Road, Huyton, who was the only member of the gang involved in the raid to be caught, pleaded guilty to burglary.

Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, said that Jones was one of three men who broke into the professionals shop in the early hours of December 19 and stole £10,000 worth of equipment including golf clubs and clothing.

Police arrived and saw a small white van accelerating away along Castle Lane and onto Crane's Lane towards Westhead. The van was abandoned with the doors open, lights on and all the stolen items inside.

The force helicopter and police dog were called to the scene and Jones was seen running into fields before getting into a second getaway vehicle, a Peugeot, and being driven off.

Officers eventually stopped the car in Wigan Road and Jones was arrested.

The court heard that Jones has convictions for 50 previous convictions including robbery and possessing a converted firearm.

Trevor Parry-Jones, defending, said that the offence was "obviously pre-planned" but not by Jones who had been asked to lend a hand getting the equipment into the van.

Judge Andrew Menary, QC, said: "This was a serious offence of commercial burglary with a degree of professionalism about it."