Yacht club thieves were paid to steal boats

Aldeburgh yacht club and Slaughden quay.

A bird's eye view of Aldeburgh Yacht Club - Credit: Jamie Niblock

Two Suffolk men who were paid to steal boats from a yacht club have each been ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work in the community.

John Fisher, of Lowestoft, and Jeffery McKeown, of Bungay, targeted Aldeburgh Yacht Club and stole a dinghy and ransacked another vessel. 

Both men admitted stealing a Honwave dinghy, taking a wakeboard and towable inflatable from a Brig Navigator 610 and damaging a fence at the yacht club when they appeared together in the dock at Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court.

The court heard both men were in a transit van stopped by police on September 19 that had boats in the back, leading to suspicious officers keeping their details.

It then emerged that Aldeburgh Yacht Club had been broken into with police examining CCTV footage of the incident.

The court heard both men had previous convictions for burglary offences.

Richard Mann, mitigating for McKeown, 35  and of Hillside Road East, Bungay, said his client and Fisher had been paid to commit the offences.

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Mr Mann said: "What had happened is Mr McKeown had been offered some money, both men were offered money to commit these offences.

"There were low level in the chain.

"It was a big error. It was an error of judgement."

Mr Mann said the men were paid £200 to carry out the break-in.

The value of the stolen yacht was £850 and the value of the stolen Jobe wakeboard and Jobe towable inflatable was £550.

Dave Foulkes, mitigating for Fisher, 37 and of Beechwood Gardens, Lowestoft, said his client had not been in trouble with the courts for a while and that was "something of an achievement in itself".

Fisher and McKeown were each placed on a 12-month community order by magistrates and each ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Both men must also each pay £95 compensation to Aldeburgh Yacht Club for the damage caused to its fence during the incident.

Magistrates also praised police for their work in stopping and investigating the two defendants.


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