A YOUNG father who stole a quad bike while on bail for stealing another quad bike earlier this year has been jailed for more than two years.
Josef Daniels, 20, turned to crime after being laid off from his labouring job at the start of lockdown as a way to earn money.
The prolific thief, of Cavendish Road, Eccleshill, joined a group of local thieves in a on March 27 this year and headed to Skipton to steal the first quad bike, worth £5,000, from a farm in the town.
Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, said a farmer had arrived at the farm on the red Honda quad that afternoon before securing it on the site.
Not long after he heard the sound of quad bike being driven, which he thought nothing of due to the nature of his surroundings.
At 2pm, he returned to find his quad gone, and alerted local people to be on look out for it. Two members of the public spotted the quad, being driven in convoy with a grey car, and set off in pursuit, ringing the police in the process.
They managed to catch the quad, which was being driven at excess of 65mph, cutting corners and on the wrong side of the road, before overtaking it and braking. The quad veered into a hedge, at which point Daniels, who was riding it, took his balaclava off and set off on foot, but was caught a short time later and handed over to police.
He appeared at court in York following this and was granted bail, and while on bail stole the second quad on July 3.
Along with three others, Daniels travelled to the farm in Keighley and broke into locked shed on the grounds at 3.55am while the farmer slept.
A farm worker was on his way to work when he was dazzled by headlights as a red Volkswagen Golf and a quad worth £6,000 passed him in convoy.
He called police, who travelled to a commonly-known hiding spot for criminals and found Daniels in the VW Golf passenger seat.
The quad had been taken into nearby woods and covered in tarpaulin by someone else and was quickly recovered by police, who found its licence plates had been removed and discarded
Gloves and a balaclava were also found in the car, and Daniels was arrested.
Mr Ahmed said Daniels has nine previous convictions for 14 offences dating back to 2016, including dishonesty, theft of vehicles, burglary and driving offences, and that these two offences were “targeted and planned”.
Andrew Dallas, in mitigation, said Daniels was a young man who had been “seduced” into committing the offences by older, more experienced criminals.
He added: “He was recruited on the promise of money at a time he was desperate for money after becoming a new father, and was seduced by these people and is now paying the price.
“He has realised he was being used and is determined to provide for his family.”
Jailing Daniels, Judge Jonathan Rose said: “Your counsel has prayed in aid of your youth, and that might have been persuasive did you not have such an antecedent history including dishonesty and burglary.
“You have a persistence for criminality.
“In the part of the world you went to quads are valuable not just for their worth, but they allow farmers to carry out work all society benefits from, and their loss can be significant.”