Stretham Man Sent To Prison After Second Breach of Suspended Sentence

PUBLISHED: 10:40 26 April 2010 | UPDATED: 13:24 02 June 2010

MAGISTRATES in Ely ordered a Stretham man to prison this week after hearing that he had breached his suspended sentence for a second time. Magistrate Mary Rone said that the bench had been left with no option but to activate the suspended sentence of 23

MAGISTRATES in Ely ordered a Stretham man to prison this week after hearing that he had breached his suspended sentence for a second time.

Magistrate Mary Rone said that the bench had been left with 'no option' but to activate the suspended sentence of 23-year-old Trevor Loveridge after he pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted theft.

Prosecutor Laura Mardell, told the court that police arrested Loveridge on March 3 after neighbours reported him acting suspiciously around properties in the village.

Prosecutor Laura Mardell, said: "A resident was woken up at 3am and spotted Mr Loveridge sitting in a parked transit van when he looked out of his window.

"He was then spotted leaving the vehicle with a five gallon drum before heading over to a nearby property. Mr Loveridge disappeared for five minutes but was seen returning to the vehicle five minutes later.

"At 4.30am the man returned from a local newsagents and saw the five gallon drum next to a vehicle parked in his neighbours property."

The court heard that police were called to the scene and arrived to find Loveridge and a friend in the vehicle, with officers reporting that there was a strong smell of diesel. A subsequent search found Loveridge was in possession of a Stanley knife and a petrol cap. Empty petrol cans were also found in the back of the van.

DNA tests on a length of hose reel found left in a vehicle provided a positive match to Loveridge.

In mitigation, the court was told that Loveridge, of Ely Road, had been suffering from sleeping problems and had decided to go out in the van with a friend.

The van had started to run low on diesel while they were out and, as a result, a decision was made to extract a small quantity of diesel from a van that was parked nearby. The court heard that it was not a pre-planned offence and that Loveridge had acted instinctively.

Magistartes sentenced the 23-year-old to a total of 16 weeks in custody.

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