A CLEEVE Prior man who bought a £4,000 stolen kitchen for £600 while doing up his mobile home has been convicted of receiving stolen goods.

Tony Smith of Twin Oaks caravan site in Evesham Road, had pleaded not guilty to receiving the goods, including kitchen units, a double oven and grill, extractor hood, fridge and freezer, which had been stolen from a bungalow off the Evesham bypass.

Worcester magistrates heard last Thursday that the new kitchen belonged to Alan Brain who was building the bungalow for his son who had been paralysed in a serious road accident.

Julian Harris, prosecuting, said Mr Brain left the bungalow locked on June 17 but when he returned on June 18 it had been broken into and burgled. A few weeks later, police officers searched Smith's home and discovered a number of kitchen items which had been taken from the bungalow. Smith had fitted them into his own kitchen. They have since been returned to Mr Brain.

Smith, aged 37, told the court he had been doing up his home when two men visited him and offered him the kitchen for £600.

He said: "I didn't know the things were stolen. I would not have bought them if I had known."

Both he and his wife Rachel, who gave evidence in his defence, said they had no idea of the value of units or appliances and used all their savings to buy the kitchen. Defending, Hugh Norman said: "It is often the case that people think because people are a traveller and they buy from another traveller, they are dishonest but that is not the case.

"Either way, £600 is a lot of money. I wouldn't know what a second hand fridge or freezer was worth. They thought these items were second hand."

Giving their guilty verdict, the magistrates said: "Any right-minded man would have questioned whether they were stolen given the price you paid for them. You have obviously closed your mind to the fact they could have been stolen."

The case was adjourned until November 30 for pre-sentence reports to be prepared. Smith was released on unconditional bail.