A 19-YEAR-OLD who stole diesel from a Flintshire farm in a planned operation has been jailed.
Jack Harpur, of Upper Bryn Road, Connah’s Quay, shut down the electric fencing surrounding Kevin Jones’ farm on Aber Las, Flint, before prising open the farm’s fuel tank and removing diesel.
At a previous hearing at Flintshire Magistrates Court, Mold, he pleaded guilty to five charges relating to the diesel theft, listed as theft of the fuel, dangerous driving, driving without a correct licence, driving without insurance and going equipped for theft.
He will serve 90 days in prison and was banned from driving for 12 months.
Justin Espie, prosecuting at Wrexham Magistrates Court, said Mr Jones was alerted to a white Ford Transit van parked on Aber Las Road, next to his farmland, on November 1.
He noticed two men acting suspiciously and on closer inspection saw they were carrying oil drums.
Harpur and another male had shut down the electric fencing around the farm and were in the process of removing diesel from Mr Jones’ fuel tank, which had approximately £1,500 worth of diesel inside it. Mr Jones did not know how much diesel was taken in terms of value.
Seeing Mr Jones, Harpur and the other man dropped the drums and drove off in the van.
The following day Mr Jones once again noticed the same van was parked on the lane and went over to inspect.
Harpur attempted to drive away but Mr Jones put his hand through the drivers’ side window and tried to take the key out of the ignition.
Harpur then “rammed the van into Jones’ Land Rover” which was parked behind before driving off.
But Mr Jones managed to note down the vehicle registration number and reported it to police.
Officers traced the van and found it at an address in Cilcain later that day outside a property where Harpur was inside.
Officers found items including a hacksaw, a chisel and a 25-litre oil drum inside the van. A pumping device was also found underneath the passenger seat and Harpur was arrested.
Mr Espie said there had been “reasonable sophistication” in this act of theft and Harpur had intended to “steal large amounts of fuel”.
Brian Cross, defending, confirmed his client had also admitted on January 17 to failing to comply with a community order, producing two cannabis plants and failing to surrender to police bail.
In interview it became clear Harpur was neither insured to drive the van or had a van driver’s licence.
He was handed 60 days’ detention for the driving offences and 30 days’ for breaching the community order.
For the drug offence and failure to surrender he was sentenced to 28 days’ each, to be served concurrently.
An order was made for the destruction of the tools used in the theft and a deprivation order was made on the van.
Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Judith Barlow said: “This case was so serious only detention was justified.”