A MAN caught on camera with stolen motocross equipment has avoided jail.

Burglars took a Kawasaki motocross bike worth £7,000, a helmet and equipment from a garage in Fallowfield Road, Colchester, after breaking in earlier to steal keys to the outbuilding.

Three men - including Luke Welham - were then caught on CCTV riding the bike nearby.

The 21-year-old was identified after removing the helmet and throwing it in a bush. Police were able to track him down after matching traces of DNA found inside it.

Welham admitted receiving stolen goods when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court but refused to tell police who broke into the garage.

Matthew Swash, mitigating, said Welham is on the autistic spectrum and has learning difficulties which means he is easily led.

He said: “He was not involved in taking the item but was involved in playing about with it around the barracks knowing full well it was stolen.

“He says he got a call asking him if he wanted to have a go on a motocross.

“He is then foolish enough to put the helmet on - the others don’t - and then throws it on the bushes.

“He was not even riding it at the time, he put it on playing around with the clothes.

“After receiving that phone call in the early hours of the morning most people would have said: ‘I’m not coming out, I’m staying at home.’ “He didn’t name the other people.

His friends have put him right in trouble. He is sitting in the dock and they are walking around.”

As well as receiving stolen goods in May, Welham also admitted to possession of 0.15g of cocaine which was found on him at Colchester police station while he was being booked in for a separate matter on September 6.

Welham has previous convictions including one for burglary in 2012 when he was part of a group who broke into a house and stole a television and a conviction for criminal damage last year.

Magistrates warned Welham, of Windsor Close, Colchester, if he appeared before the courts again he would likely face jail.

He was handed a four month prison sentence suspended for a year and must complete 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

It was decided Welham could not undertake unpaid work because he is walking with crutches because of a fractured femur.

He must also pay back £2,000 in compensation to the victim. The bike has never been recovered.

There was no separate penalty for cocaine possession but the drugs will be destroyed.