A CONVICTED burglar who was caught with ‘cowboy guns’ stolen from a country and western festival was told by a judge: “This is the last chance saloon”.
Police found the imitation revolvers when they searched Lee Thorpe’s home after he was arrested for trying to break into a chemist.
Leeds Crown Court heard the revolvers had been stolen from a tent belonging to a wild west enthusiast at a music festival in west Leeds on April 17 this year.
The court heard the guns, worth £1,700, were not capable of discharging bullets as the barrels had been blocked by the manufacturer.
The owner had brought them from his home in Scotland to use them to use at the event.
Thorpe, 34, who has a long history of burglary and dishonesty offences, pleaded to handling stolen goods after officers found them when they searched his home a day after he was spotted on CCTV trying to break into the chemist shop on Tong Road.
Officers found the revolvers in a canvas bag at his home on Holdforth Green.
Thorpe also pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and asked for three further offences of burglary to be taken into consideration.
Graham Parkin, mitigating, said Thorpe had served several prison sentences which had failed to deter him from offending. He urged judge Penelope Belcher to impose an intensive community order.
The judge imposed an order for 12 months, during which time he must attend a 50-day activity programme and do 200 hours’ unpaid work.
She said: “If there is any prospect of that cycle of offending being broken then it is plainly in the public interest that that should happen. It is for these reasons rather than your personal wishes.”
She added: “If you make one false move you will go back to custody. This is the last chance saloon.”