Trio handled band's stolen gear

Dead Man's Hand members have been reunited with their instruments
Dead Man's Hand members have been reunited with their instruments
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Three men who handled thousands of pounds of instruments stolen from musicians in Lancaster have been punished by the courts.

Guitars, amps, a drum kit, and a valuable electric keyboard were among items taken from the John O’ Gaunt pub in Market Street, where various musicians stored gear, on October 31 last year.

The victims included Lancaster Music Festival organiser Ben Ruth, rock band Dead Man’s Hand, pianist Jack Spencer, drummer Andy Slater and guitarist Graham Mumford.

Band Dead Man’s Hand had at least 90 per cent of their entire kit stolen.

The items stolen included a red Nord Stage EX76 electric keyboard, a CORT four string acoustic bass, an Applause Balladeer AE28 electro acoustic six string guitar, a Crafter M77E mandolin in soft Crafter case and Yamaha Sv-130 violin in torn blue fabric hard case, two d606 unidirectional drum mics in a blue satchel with two white XLR leads.

A foot tambourine, two sawnoff teaspoons, and an Aria 1988 Elechord 12 string were taken.

Prosecuting, Andy Robinson told Preston Magistrates’ Court the gear was found by police at an address in Lancaster, which was linked to Ben Knowles, Colin Burns and Gary McCormick.

All the men later pleaded guilty to assisting in the retention, removal, disposal or realisation of stolen goods.

Knowles 28, of Green Lane, Lancaster, was ordered to pay an £80 fine, £30 surcharge and £85 costs.

Burns, 41, of Broadway, Lancaster, was given a rehabilitation activity and must pay a victim surcharge of £85.

McCormick, 40, of Gardner Road, Lancaster was given 16 weeks in prison suspended for 24 months with £60 costs and a £115 surcharge.