ONE man out of three who admitted stealing heavy machinery and work tools from a property near Whitchurch has been jailed.

Cornelius Price, 36 and of Donnington Wood in Telford, was jailed for 12 months by Judge Anthony Lowe at Shrewsbury Crown Court, reduced from 18 months for his early plea and previous time on curfew.

His co-defendant and brother Alfie Price, 21, was given a nine-month sentence, reduced from 12 and suspended for 18 months while a third man, Aaron Davies, was given the same sentence.

The trio admitted in August that on April 28, 2023, they stole a heavy duty breaker, belle compactor plate and Stihl petrol disc cutter, at a value of around £3,600 from Tilstock Lodge, near Whitchurch.


On the same evening, they had stolen a Wacker Neuson and Stihl saw, at around a value of £2,000, from a barn in Preston Gubbals near Shrewsbury.

They also caused around £1,000 in damage to a 13-ton heavy digger which had been parked in front of shipping containers where the tools were stored at Tilstock Lodge.

Andrew Baker, prosecuting, told the court that at Tilstock Lodge, the tools’ owner had been working on a renovation and placed them in the containers and parked the digger in front of it.

However, he checked CCTV later and saw that around 7.40pm, the machine had been moved and the doors were open.

Mr Baker said the heavy duty breaker cost £1,800 while both other items at Tilstock Lodge cost £900 each.

The trio – all known to officers in Telford and were recognised from the CCTV – were arrested and interviewed across two days but went ‘no comment’.

In mitigation, lawyers representing all three men tried to convince Judge Lowe that the ‘laughable’ attempts to cover up their faces suggest the theft was ‘ the opposite of professional’ and the gang could not be credited with a sophisticated operation.

However, Judge Lowe did highlight that the burglary was researched, planned and carried out.

Lawyers also added that all three men has spent around 100 days on curfew, which should lead to a reduction in any tariff given.

The court was told that Cornelius Price, despite previous convictions for dishonesty, had not offended for at least seven years and was his mother’s primary carer.

It was also heard that Alfie Price admitted that he had carried out the burglary for financial gain and for Davies, there was an opportunity for future employment.

Sentencing them, Judge Lowe said: “This was a undoubtedly researched and it is clear that it was planned because you went together with the bolt cutters.

“You had the pick-up truck for the heavy machinery to be transported and you had somewhere to sell it because it had never been recovered.

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“It’s a group activity as none of you admits to being the instigator and as I have no evidence who was, you all are.”

He told Cornelius Price that ‘he had a bad record with dishonesty’ and had ‘resorted to taking other peoples’ property to make money’ and that he passed the custodial threshold but will spend half of his sentence on licence.

Both Alfie Price and Davies were sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid work while the former will carry out 10 rehabilitation activity days and the latter will carry out 20 days.