Last chance saloon for burglar who stole guns from country and western festival

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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 chemists.

Leeds Crown Court heard the revolvers had been stolen from a tent belonging to a wild west enthusiast at a music festival in the city on April 17. The court was told 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 and used them to perform “quick-on-the-draw” stunts.

Thorpe, of Holdforth Green, Leeds, who has a long history of burglary and offences of dishonesty to fund a drug habit, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.

He also admitted burglary and asked for three other burglary offences to be taken into consideration. One offence included him taking £800 of property from Sainsbury’s supermarket staff after breaking into lockers at a Leeds store.

Judge Penelope Belcher imposed a 12-month community order, during which Thorpe must attend a 50-day drug programme and do 200 hours of unpaid work.

The judge said: “If there is a chance of breaking the this cycle of offending then it is in the greater public interest to impose this sentence... if you make one false move you will go back to custody. This is the last chance saloon.”