Lorry driver jailed for Bal­lachul­ish thefts

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

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.

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