Published: 00:01, 15 December 2014
Two pals who stole a boat to go fishing were caught hook, line and sinker – after managing to row just 15 metres.
Labourer Aaron Pauley, 21, and self-employed Charlie Hawker, 20, took the spur of the moment decision to nab the boat when they were out walking along the River Stour in Chartham.
But the hapless pair were left reeling when police officers rumbled them shortly after they pushed off the riverbank.
They appeared before Canterbury magistrates on Friday and admitted the theft on July 22.
“This was borne of out of youthful exuberance and didn’t cause anyone any distress. They have indicated their remorse” - Daniel Obi, defending
Prosecutor Neil Sweeney said: “Police received a call that a rowing boat belonging to Mr Benson had gone missing, and that two men had been seen climbing over a fence by the path and walking along.
“PC Donovan saw the pair in a boat which matched the description and arrested them.”
Defending the pair, Daniel Obi told the court they were lifelong fishing pals.
He said: “They are childhood friends and have been very close for a long period of time. They have grown up together and done things together.
“One thing they have done is go fishing, which they both have a passion for. They have gone on several trips together.
“On this occasion they were taking a walk along the riverbank and saw this boat. They discussed the idea of fishing in a boat which they hadn’t done before.
“They wanted to do it to know what the experience would be like and had gone about 15 metres when they were stopped. They admitted they didn’t have the consent of the owner.
“This was borne of out of youthful exuberance and didn’t cause anyone any distress. They have indicated their remorse.”
Hawker, of Cranbrook Road in Benenden, and Pauley, of Folly Town in Hastingleigh, were given a conditional discharge and each ordered to pay £100 costs.
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