A BUSINESSMAN has been jailed for handling stolen vehicles.
Winston Rogers, 47, was told by a crown court judge he was clearly someone who could be relied upon by thieves to turn stolen goods into cash.
Such serious thefts would not occur unless thieves knew “where they could turn”, Judge Niclas Parry told him.
Rogers, of Victoria Crescent, Pontybodkin, near Mold, admitted handling three stolen Landrover Defenders and one Range Rover and committing fraud by registering them in his name using false vehicle details.
He denied handling a stolen Komatsu mini-digger but was convicted by a jury at Mold Crown Court.
Jailing him for 12 months, Mr Parry said machinery had been left out on sites and were clearly vulnerable.
The case involved vehicles to the total value of about £51,500.
“You knew what you were doing and how to cover your tracks,” Mr Parry told him.
Such offences were easy to commit but difficult to detect and any sentence needs to have an element of deterrent, Judge Parry said.
He took into account Rogers was a man of previous good character with no convictions, an industrious man who people spoke highly of.
Prosecuting barrister Jayne La Grua said in November 2012 police executed a search warrant at the premises of Hardings Comercial Vehicle Repair on the Corwen Road at Pontbodkin.
Various four by four vehicles, a digger and two trailers were seized and Rogers confirmed that he was in charge of the company and said all vehicles were his.
A forensic vehicle examiner was called in and it was discovered registration numbers had been changed, with some vehicles registered in the Rogers’ name by using false numbers and changing the colours of the vehicles on log books.
A Landrover had been stolen from Wrexham in 2004, another in 2006 and a third in Malpas in 2007.
The Range Rover had been stolen from St Helens in 2009 and at that stage was valued at £6,000.
The mini-digger was stolen from the Alwen Reservoir on the Denbigh Moors in April 2006 when it was valued at £13,900.
Rogers denied handling the digger and said that when he bought it for £2,000 from a man who came to his yard he thought it was genuine.
It was damaged with broken windows and no bucket, he had spent money on it and had used it because he was r-doing his yard at the time. The prosecution did not proceed over two stolen trailers.
Interviewed, Rogers told how the vehicles were for his personal use. He said he bought vehicles from gipsies and others who came to the yard and he knew they were “not fully kosher”. But he said he believed the digger was genuine.
Simon Rogers, defending, said that his client had made admissions in interview to the majority of offences and had pleaded guilty some time ago in the magistrates court.
The vehicles he bought had been all for his own use – not to sell on for profit.
The defendant was a hard working man with a young family and Mr Rogers suggested a suspended prison, but Mr Parry jailed him for 12 months.