A man who travelled to Mawdesley to steal goods worth more than £6,000 before trying to cover the crime up has been jailed for 32 weeks.

Mark Pennington, also known as Daryl, 22, of Kitt Green Road, Wigan, was given jail sentence at Preston Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to charges of theft and perverting the course of justice.

Pennington was employed as a delivery driver for a company when he drove into the rural village of Mawdesley, last November, with goods and gift worth thousands of pounds.

While in the village, he removed 205 packages from his van and then subsequently called the police claiming that they had been stolen by a man who had also kept him against his will.

However, after further investigations by the police into the claims, Pennington confessed, just days after the crime, to having made the story up after taking the packages himself worth an estimated £6,416.

Detective Constable Graham Hunt, of Lancashire CID, said: “Pennington betrayed the trust of his employers and then wasted a significant amount of police and other emergency service resource with his fairy tales.

“Making the crime even more heinous was the timing. It happened during the run-up to Christmas where many individuals and families were sending each other gifts which Pennington was trusted to deliver.”