Dealer had stolen vans worth £45k

Number plates were changed

Hamilton Advertiser - - ALL ABOUT LANARKSHIRE - Court reporter

A dodgy dealer has avoided prison af­ter be­ing caught red­handed with four stolen vans.

Graeme Brown­lie (50) ad­mit­ted re­set of the ve­hi­cles at his home in Pa­trick­holm Av­enue, Stone­house, in Jan­uary 2017. Po­lice dis­cov­ered they had false number plates.

A war­rant was is­sued for his ar­rest when he failed to ap­pear at Hamil­ton Sher­iff Court ear­lier this year for sen­tence on the charges.

Brown­lie’s lawyer Stephen Macbride said: “Th­ese are se­ri­ous charges and he ac­cepts re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“He has a sim­i­lar con­vic­tion but that was for of­fences com­mit­ted 12 years ago and I would ask the court to take the view that the lat­est case can be dealt with by way of a com­mu­nity-based dis­posal.”

He said Brown­lie had de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety and a his­tory of post-trau­matic stress disorder.

“He was re­ferred by his GP to men­tal health ser­vices and says he was given med­i­ca­tion,” the lawyer said.

“This helped in some ways but not in oth­ers and even­tu­ally he and his wife de­cided he should stop tak­ing it.

“This has led to a pos­i­tive change in his health to the ex­tent that he has been able to go back to his full-time em­ploy­ment, where he is held in es­teem.”

Sher­iff Ray Small told Brown­lie: “In the course of your mo­tor busi­ness you were at­tempt­ing to do up for sale ve­hi­cles which it would have been ob­vi­ous to any­one had been stolen.

“They weren’t just small cars ei­ther but com­mer­cial vans which, I’m told, could have been worth as much as £45,000 in to­tal.”

Sher­iff Small or­dered Brown­lie to do 225 hours of un­paid work within nine months, adding: “I’m only just per­suaded not to jail you be­cause you have no sub­stan­tive record, there was full re­cov­ery of the vans, you are in full-time em­ploy­ment and you have had men­tal health is­sues which you seem to have brought un­der con­trol.”

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