Lorry driver jailed for Ballachulish thefts
A LORRY driver has been jailed for 18 months for stealing tools, equipment and fuel from Chisholms Recovery Specialists and Chisholms Garage in Ballachulish.
Procurator fiscal Martina Eastwood told Fort William Sheriff Court that on November 10, 2014, the owners of premises in West Quarry, Ballachullish, reported they had been broken into, storage containers were opened and contents, tools and equipment worth £ 5,000 had been taken. Sixty litres of diesel had been siphoned from fuel tanks on the premises.
She said CCTV footage showed a white van pulling up at the yard and a man taking items, putting them in the van and driving off, although it was not possible to identify the man from the footage.
She told the court a yellow hose was found in one fuel tank, DNA from which was analysed and matched to Sandu, 25, after he was stopped by police on a separate matter on November 26, 2016, and found with items belonging to Chisholms in his van.
Solicitor Martha Rafferty, representing Sandu, told the court she believed the fuel to be included in the £ 5,000 value of the stolen goods and that he had only stolen the fuel to get himself home from the yard. Ms Rafferty also asked that the sheriff take into account that Sandu had shown remorse, reflected in his guilty plea which he had given quickly once all the details of the case were disclosed.
She added that Sandu appreciated his actions caused financial loss and could have generated fear in the community.
Sheriff William Taylor said a criminal justice social work report on Sandu showed he has a recent history of violence, failing to attend court and willingness to engage in risky, dishonest behaviour so he felt it was in the public interest to give a custodial sentence.
Sandu’s 18-month sentence is backdated to April 3 as he has been in custody since then.