A “BRAZEN” thief who stole a transporter with eight cars on it from a lay-by in Flintshire has been spared jail.
Unknown to James Deeney, of Nelson Court, Rhyl, the transporter’s owners in Lithuania followed it on a satellite tracking device.
Deeney, 51, pleaded guilty to stealing the Mercedes transporter and its load of old cars, said to be valued at up to £10,000, in November 2011.
He was given a nine months’ jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, must carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work and be under supervision for a year.
Jonathan Austin, prosecuting at Caernarfon Crown Court, said the driver had been stranded at Ewloe after VOSA had carried out a random check and found the vehicle was too long for the road and did not comply with regulations.
Deeney came across the transporter and suggested that it should be moved to a secure parking area on the M6 at Lymm. The driver agreed to this and was told he wasn’t allowed to drive it there.
Police were informed when the transporter didn’t turn up and the tracker device showed it was heading towards Oldham, Lancashire. It was found at a business address in the Manchester area where a prospective purchaser had agreed to buy it for £5,000. In the meantime, Deeney had contacted the owners, offering to drive it to Dover “for a substantial fee”.
Mr Austin read a list of previous convictions. Last September Deeney had been sentenced to a year’s imprisonment at Manchester for theft of a camper van and was released last month.
Defence barrister John Wyn Williams said the camper van offence was committed while Deeney – who had first pleaded not guilty to the transporter theft – was awaiting trial. Urging that there should not be an immediate prison sentence, Mr Williams said he was complying with the terms of his prison licence.
Passing sentence, Judge Philip Hughes said Deeney had turned up in a recovery van and assured the Lithuanian that the transporter could be parked somewhere safe.
“Your offence was the result of a brazen deception of a vulnerable foreign driver who was stranded in the UK with poor command of the English language,” he told him.
“You have a bad record of dishonesty.”
However, it was 15 months since the theft and in the meantime he had served a year’s sentence.