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'Well organised' gang sentenced for diesel theft
Almost £100,000 worth of diesel was stolen in night time raids on businesses across Hertfordshire.
Twelve companies across Hertfordshire were broken into between November 2011 and February last year including Provence Private Hire in St Albans and the Watford Timber Company, and twice at Arriva buses in Watford. There were also three attempted thefts.
The largest theft was 21,000 litres of diesel from the Arriva depot in Stevenage. In total £95,000 worth of diesel was stolen, St Albans Crown Court heard on Friday.
Prosecutor Gavin Pottinger said Thomas Beaney senior, 51, arranged to store stolen lorries that were used to transport the diesel at Westwick Row Farm in Hemel Hempstead.
He said the plan involved using stolen lorries with false number plates that would be driven into industrial yards. Diesel would be then siphoned into large cube containers.
Thomas Beaney senior, of The Barley Mow Caravan site, Barley Mow Lane, St Albans; Tom Beaney junior, 23, of Rodney Avenue, St Albans and Moses Brinkley, 35, of Ryecroft, Harlow, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal.
Kenneth Jakeman, 38, of Green Lane, St Albans, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft and two of handling stolen vehicles.
Representing Brinkley, Justin Hugheston-Roberts said he had spent seven months in custody and six months on a tag. He said he fully accepted his involvement and since his arrest had taken steps to obtain qualifications.
Andel Singh, representing Thomas Beaney senior and Tom Beaney junior, asked for full credit for their guilty pleas, which he said were indications of remorse. He said no violence was used in the crimes.
Charles Judge, representing Kenneth Jakeman, said he was involved in just three thefts and had driven a lorry for £100 a time. He said he was making efforts to deal with his drug problems.
Judge Stephen Gullick said: "This was a well organised and sophisticated criminal enterprise."
Brinkley was sentenced to one and a half years in jail but because of the time served he was due to be immediately released.
Thomas Beaney senior was jailed for 21 months. Jakeman was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for 12 months. Tom Beaney junior received a two year jail term suspended for 2 years and was ordered to carry out 60 days on an Education, Training and Employment course.