Dealer had stolen vans worth £45k
Number plates were changed
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.”