Man in court over Norfolk Broads' boat break-ins during lockdown

Lester Lyon's boat

Lester Lynn, 29, of Church Road, Cantley, has been has been ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service and pay over £2,000 in compensation after stealing from boats on the Norfolk Broads. He was identified by his boat, pictured here. - Credit: Norfolk Police

A man has been sentenced after stealing thousands of pounds of equipment from boats on the Norfolk Broads.

Lester Lynn, of Church Road, Cantley, appeared at Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court on Friday, January 15, charged with two counts of theft and two of handling stolen goods.

The 29-year-old, who pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing, broke into the boats along the River Yare during the Easter lockdown last year.

He was identified after witnesses came forward and recognised his boat, officers taking statements from victims from across the UK, including Wales, Essex and Lincolnshire.

Norfolk Police said Lynn stole thousands of pounds worth of equipment including an outboard engine and marine fixtures and fittings from a boat at Hardley Dyke, near Loddon, between February 1 and April 7  last year, and from a second boat moored at Langley Dyke.

He also admitted two counts of handling stolen goods at Langley Dyke, including marine equipment, between March 15 and April 9 last year.

In total he was ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service within 12 months and pay £2,060 pounds in compensation.

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PC Paul Bassham, beat manager for the Broads Beat Team, said: "This offender dominated our time last Summer with a number of boats broken into during the Easter lockdown.

"The offender’s boat was identified through witnesses coming forward and was discovered by the Broads’ Authority and seized by police for examination.

"More than 60 items were seized as exhibits.

"The Broads Beat team wishes to thank all the local witnesses in tracking down the offender, the victims’ patience with the restricted process during

lockdown and hope this reassures the marine community across the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads that we will continue to patrol, prevent and detect marine