Man restrained by garden centre workers after pursuit admits theft

Newbridge Nurseries Garden Centre manager Steve Nicholls and colleague Dan Grain pursued the man before restraining him nearby

Newbridge Nurseries Garden Centre manager Steve Nicholls and colleague Dan Grain pursued the man before restraining him nearby

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A Warnham man has pleaded guilty to theft of Christmas decorations worth nearly £500 from Newbridge Nurseries Garden Centre in December.

The County Times previously reported that garden centre staff Steve Nicholls and Dan Grain pursued a man and restrained him by the side of a main road in a ‘dramatic’ incident.

Yesterday (Thursday March 3), Justin Dickinson of Tillets Lane appeared at Horsham Magistrates’ Court, where he was due to be tried.

However, the 40-year-old changed his plea to guilty, and will be sentenced at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on March 24.

The court heard that he was arrested on Saturday December 12 after fleeing the garden centre in Broadbridge Heath on foot.

Dickinson placed Christmas lights to the value of £457.96 in his trolley, but left without paying.

He was challenged by Mr Nicholls and Mr Grain, before abandoning the trolley and running off down Billingshurst Road.

The pair spotted him hiding in bushes, and after a struggle between the three that left manager Mr Nicholls with a badly sprained wrist, Dickinson was restrained.

Speaking to the County Times in December, Mr Nicholls said: “It was a bit dramatic but it was a really good feeling to be honest.

“Although some people told us we shouldn’t really have got involved as it could have been dangerous, we’re glad we did, and we think we did the right thing.”

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