A thief arrested after a passing motorist spotted him driving off with a stolen mini-digger has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Bill Bishop, 29, was seen towing the plant equipment away from Bexwell Tractors in Downham Market behind his Range Rover on August 26 last year.

The good samaritan motorist followed him along the A1122 towards Wisbech, and then at high speed on to the A10, while contacting police.

Bishop, of Station Road in Manea, Cambridgeshire, who later attempted to dump the trailer, pleaded guilty to attempted theft and going equipped to steal after a pair of bolt cutters were found in his vehicle.

Appearing at Norwich Crown Court he was given a 12 month jail term suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 35 rehabilitation activity days.

Recorder John Hardy said: “Take it from me that if behaviour like this carries on you will be leaving court next time to prison.”