FOUR burglars who took part in metal thefts from Nestlé’s factory have received suspended prison sentences.

Chris Smith, prosecuting, described how Phillip Marc Burns, Craig Longhawn, Shane Horsewood and Gavin Karl Rutherford raided the disused buildings between Wigginton Road and Haxby Road ten times between August 22 and October 6 in 2011.

They stole copper cable worth up to £2,000 that would cost between £12,000 and £15,000 to replace.

They also damaged security fencing to get onto the site and a security officer who chased the thieves on one occasion broke an arm and had to take time off work.

Burns, 30, formerly of Mowbray Drive, Acomb, and now of Selby, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and possessing Class B and Class C drugs with intent to supply others while on bail for the Nestlé offence. He was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 250 hours unpaid work.

Police found stripped insulation cable at his Acomb home. His barrister Stephen Grattage said he had quit drugs and changed his life since his arrest.

Longhawn, 27, of Poplar Street, Acomb, admitted the conspiracy and was given a four-month sentence suspended for 18 months.

The judge did not order him to do unpaid work after Mr Grattage said Longhawn now had a serious medical condition that required dialysis four times a week that made him violently sick.

Horsewood, 25, of Ingleton House, Burnsall Drive, Acomb, was given a four-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work. His barrister Andrew Petterson said he had given up drugs and alcohol.

Rutherford, 19, of Clifton Caravan Site, York, pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary at Nestlé and burgling Network Rail’s site for metal while on bail for the Nestlé offences.

He was given an eight-month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.

Two others who admitted their part in the thefts were given curfew orders at a different hearing.