A music store owner has been convicted of handling £36,000 of hi-tech sound equipment which was stolen from the back of a lorry.
Norman Brunskill, 61, owner of the Big Deal music store in Leeds City Centre, told police he had bought the goods from a church pastor.
Officers recovered the stolen equipment when they searched the garage at Brunskill’s home on Leadwell Lane, Rothwell, Leeds, in May this year.
Ewan McLachlan, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court some electronic sound equipment, manufactured by Allen & Heath, had been stolen from an HGV which was parked outside Audio-Technica, a distribution centre on Millennium Way, Beeston.
Police later received information that Brunskill had bought most of the items and went to his shop on Eastgate.
He told them the equipment was not in his shop but they would be able to find it at his home.
In interview, Brunskill told police a customer came into his shop and told him he was a church pastor who sent music equipment to Africa.
He said the man, who he knew only as ‘Pastor Wilson’, asked him to store some of the equipment for £40 per week.
In another interview he told officers he had paid ‘Pastor Wilson’ £12,000 but denied knowing that the goods were stolen.
He later pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.
Graham Parkin, mitigating, said Brunskill had no previous convictions and had run his business, which mainly deals in second hand goods, for many years without any trouble.
Mr Parkin said his involvement had cost him £50,000 and he would now have to postpone his retirement as a result of his actions. He added that the goods would have been worthless as they all had traceable serial numbers.
Judge Roger Ibbotson gave Brunskill a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to do 250 hours unpaid work.
Brunskill was ordered to pay £36,457 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. He must pay within 28 days or face 18 months jail.