Men involved in 'sophisticated' machinery theft plot lose sentence appeals (From St Albans & Harpenden Review)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting st albans to 80360, or email us
Men involved in 'sophisticated' machinery theft plot, Richard John Scales and Lee Mark Dunn Snr, lose sentence appeals
Two men who were jailed for their roles in a major heavy machinery theft plot - involving more than £700,000 worth of vehicles - lost appeals against their sentences yesterday.
Richard John Scales, 49, and Lee Mark Dunn Snr, 53, were part of a gang-of-four who conspired to steal valuable construction plant from building sites in the county in 2011 and 2012.
Scales, of Bardwell Court, St Albans, was jailed for four years and four months at St Albans Crown Court in March for conspiracy to steal and a separate charge of possessing Class A drugs.
Dunn Snr, of High Street, Bedmond, denied but was found guilty by a jury of the conspiracy and was sentenced to five-and-a-half years' imprisonment at the same hearing.
Lawyers for the pair argued they had been too sternly punished, but saw their complaints thrown out of the Court of Appeal by senior judges, Mr Justice Henriques and Mr Justice Blake.
"The conspiracy they were involved in was a sophisticated and systematic theft of plant machinery from construction sites in Hertfordshire," Mr Justice Blake told the court.
Between January 2011 and March 2012, 17 thefts took place. Property worth £706,000 was taken, but £309,000 worth was recovered before it could be moved out of the country for sale.
Two other members of the Dunn family were also involved. Lee Paul Dunn was given five-and-a-half years, while Stacy Dunn was given five years and nine months as he was involved for the longest of all four.
Lawyers for Scales and Dunn Snr argued that their sentences were too tough, because they had not been involved in the plot all of the way from the start until the end.
Mr Justice Blake said: "On the judge's findings, each of these appellants was substantially involved in the total activity of the conspiracy: stealing vehicles, moving them and secreting them until they could be disposed of.
"The length of proven participation in the conspiracy did not equate to evidence of a lesser or subordinate role in it.
"For these reasons, these renewed applications are refused."
Comments are closed on this article.