Morecambe road pursuit ends with police dog catching man who transported stolen trailers on his truck

A former horse trader who served a jail term for animal cruelty has been back in court for handling goods stolen from residents in rural north Lancashire.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 3:45 pm

John Michael Humphrey, 35, fled across four lanes of the Bay Gateway as he was pursued by a police dog handler who spotted three trailers stolen from the Claughton area on Humphrey's truck in Morecambe.

Prosecuting, Rosaline Emsley-Smith said: "The defendant was caught by the dog, at which point he threw his hands in the air saying: "Ok I give up."

In 2018, Humphrey, of Lunnsfield Lane, Selby, North Yorkshire, was jailed for 17 weeks for 25 animal neglect charges after he kept more than 30 severely malnourished horses and donkeys in a dirty and hazardous environment.

Preston Crown Court

After his release the married dad-of-two was trying to set up a business as a driver, Preston Crown Court was told.

Between January 30 and 31, 2019, he was asked to transport a 14ft Ivor Williams flat bed trailer, a 12ft Ivor Williams flat bed trailer and a Bateson cattle trailer, all worth £11,800 on his truck.

He admitted three counts of handling stolen goods on the basis he offered his vehicle out for loan, later realised the trailers were probably stolen and panicked on seeing police.

Ms Emsley Smith said PC Adrian Greer spotted his truck with the trailers on and a Land Rover in Oxcliffe Road on January 31, but the Land Rover sped off and he pursued the truck instead.

Humphrey eventually pulled over but fled across the busy carriageway.

Imposing nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months, Judge Heather Lloyd said: " You realised that these items were stolen effectively as soon as you came across them, and you closed your mind to that obvious fact.

"The circumstances, bluntly, would have made it obvious, and the circumstances of your arrest made it obvious you knew these items were stolen.

"Your behaviour in running across the motorway makes it abundantly clear you knew these items were stolen.

"The fact the goods were recovered were no thanks to you."

However she accepted it was out of character and that his dishonesty was a "one-off".

He was given a curfew and must pay £535 costs.

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