Refused to name accomplice

PUBLISHED: 11:20 05 July 2007 | UPDATED: 12:35 04 May 2010

DRUG user Darren Thurling has refused to name the accomplice he twice drove to a Tesco filling station so they could steal petrol. Thurling shielded the man from CCTV view as drums in the back of a Ford Sierra were filled with fuel. His accomplice leaned

DRUG user Darren Thurling has refused to name the accomplice he twice drove to a Tesco filling station so they could steal petrol.

Thurling shielded the man from CCTV view as drums in the back of a Ford Sierra were filled with fuel.

"His accomplice leaned through the rear nearside window and filled several drums on the rear seat of the vehicle," prosecutor Angela Sassoli told Ely magistrates.

On May 29, the car left with £77 worth of fuel on board, and the following day another £97.03 worth of petrol was stolen.

Thurling, 32, of The Causeway, Soham, was identified from video footage, and when arrested he refused to name his accomplice.

"He said he knew what was happening and he should have paid for the fuel," said Mrs Sassoli.

On Thursday, he admitted stealing the fuel from Tesco in Bar Hill

Thurling had previously admitted stealing meat from Littleport Co-op and from Willingham Co-op. Those offences put him in breach of a conditional discharge.

A pre-sentence report had been ordered, but was not available to the court because Thurling had failed to turn up for an appointment with the probation service in Cambridge.

"He had tried to get there, but the bus did not turn up and he had to wait for an hour for another bus," said solicitor Nick Barnes. "I would ask for him to assessed for a drug rehabilitation order."

Presiding magistrate Jane Lewin-Smith said: "This is a man who can find transport when he wants to commit an offence, but not when he needs to keep an appointment with the probation service."

Sentencing was adjourned for three weeks. Bail conditions imposed on Thurling ban him from all petrol filling stations within a 40-mile radius of Ely.

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