A MAN caught trying to sell expensive stolen teddy bears has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Brendan Lee Teale, 28, was prosecuted for trying to sell five deluxe cuddly toys which had been stolen from the window display of Hoppers of Malton in the town's Market Square, York Crown Court was told.

They were among 17 bears worth on average £50 each and with a total value of £885 that were taken in a burglary during the night of September 30 and October 1.

The next day Teale, of Riverside View, Norton, lined five of the stolen teddy bears up in his bedroom and offered to sell them to a friend, prosecution barrister Helen Chapman said.

By the time police learnt about his actions and visited his home, there were only three teddy bears there, two in one bedroom, and one elsewhere in the flat.

Teale denied carrying out the burglary, but admitted handling five teddy bears, knowing that they were stolen.

The Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC, said he had a very bad record for theft and handling, including a conviction for handling less than 12 months ago, and gave him a six-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months on condition he does 15 days' rehabilitation activities.

He saw a hospital letter supporting Teale's account that he was awaiting an operation on his wrist so could not do unpaid work.

For him, Glenn Parsons asked for a reduced sentence because he had pleaded guilty at his first appearance before the crown court.

Ms Chapman said of the 17 bears stolen, only nine had been recovered, and the shop could not sell them because they had been handled by other people.

A co-accused has admitted carrying out the burglary and was dealt with by Scarborough magistrates and a third co-accused has received a conditional youth caution for his criminal actions involving the bears.