A SNEAK thief who stole satellite navigation equipment from an ambulance said that the act was fuelled by alcohol.

Christopher Gee, 20, formerly from Prenton but now living in Ellesmere Port, admitted stealing from the emergency vehicle while it tended to an elderly man.

He also pleaded guilty to a Section 4 offence after using threatening and abusive behaviour towards an off duty police officer.

Today, Wirral Magistrates Court heard how Gee broke into the ambulance on February 17, while it responded to an emergency in Dale Avenue, Bromborough.

An off duty police officer witnessed the theft and chased after Gee, who expressed his intentions to cause the officer violence.

Prosecutor Helen Chambers said that Gee had made threats to the officer's personal safety while he was detaining him.

But defending, Mike Bagby said that Gee understands that the offence was "despicable and inhumane" and only acted abusively when he thought his captor was "baying for his blood."

He said: "Mr Gee misuses alcohol which was the main factor in this incident."

Magistrates said that they will issue a "community punishment of the highest level" when Gee appears before them again next month.

He was granted bail on the conditions that he resides at his home address and complies with an 8am-8pm curfew.