Oban man jailed for dou­ble theft

The Oban Times - - FRONT PAGE -

AN OBAN drug user has been jailed for 10 months for steal­ing two ve­hi­cles to get to Glas­gow.

Eioun Smith, 41, of 3A Mill­park Ter­race, Oban, ad­mit­ted steal­ing a car from an Oban garage on July 29, then a van and its contents from Taynuilt be­tween July 30-31, and driv­ing both with­out a full li­cence and in­sur­ance.

Smith’s part­ner, Melissa McLaugh­lin of the same ad­dress, also stood ac­cused of steal­ing the two ve­hi­cles, but her not guilty pleas were ac­cepted by the Crown.

Procu­ra­tor fis­cal Eoin McGinty told Oban Sher­iff Court on Tues­day Septem­ber 12: ‘He [Smith] had picked her up in the first ve­hi­cle and as they reached Taynuilt it ran out of petrol. He made off to make other plans and re­turned with the van. CCTV showed two peo­ple get into a van and drive to Glas­gow.

‘The van’s contents are noted as miss­ing. The owner has in­di­cated the loss to be £3,200. All his tools were miss­ing and the ra­dio was re­moved. He feared the van would be writ­ten off given the lack of keys. He had not re­ceived a day’s pay since the van was stolen.

‘He [Smith] said it was op­por­tunist. He could not re­ally re­mem­ber what had been hap­pen­ing as he had been on drugs.’

Po­lice sus­pect the tools were sold in Glas­gow, Mr McGinty added.

Smith pleaded guilty to an­other charge of act­ing in an ag­gres­sive man­ner to­wards Ms McLaugh­lin on Al­bany Street on Au­gust 4 af­ter the couple were in­ter­viewed at Oban Po­lice Of­fice.

‘The sus­pi­cion was it was due to her frank­ness ini­tially,’ Mr McGinty said.

How­ever, de­fence agent Kevin McGin­ness said Smith claimed ‘it bore no re­la­tion­ship to what took place in the po­lice sta­tion’. Smith also ad­mit­ted to fail­ing to ap­pear at Oban Sher­iff Court on Au­gust 15.

Mr McGin­ness said: ‘There is a sig­nif­i­cant record of pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions.’

Given Smith’s record and the na­ture of the of­fences, Sher­iff Pa­trick Hughes sen­tenced Smith to serve eight months in prison for each of the two thefts, to run con­cur­rently, fol­lowed by a fur­ther two months each for the two later charges, again to run con­cur­rently, to­talling 10 months al­to­gether. Smith was also dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing un­til he passed his test.

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